EXCLUSIVE: I think black people are wonderful - Penny Sparrow

2016-06-14 13:16
Penny Sparrow speaks to News24. (Felix Dlangamandla)

Penny Sparrow speaks to News24. (Felix Dlangamandla)

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Johannesburg - Controversial KwaZulu-Natal realtor Penny Sparrow says in an exclusive interview with News24 that she is not a racist.

Last week, Sparrow received a R150 000 fine for her controversial Facebook post.

News24 tracked down Sparrow, who has been in hiding since January, to her safe-house in Johannesburg. The controversial realtor told her side of the story.

She had posted the following on Facebook on January 3:
“These monkeys that are allowed to be released on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day onto the public beaches towns etc obviously have no education what so ever so to allow them loose is in inviting huge dirt and troubles and discomfort to others.

“I’m sorry to say I was amongst the revellers and all I saw were black on black skins what shame. This lot of monkeys just don’t want to even try. But think they can voice their opinions about statute and get their way dear of dear. From now on I will address the blacks of South Africa as monkeys as I see the cute little wild monkeys do the same pick and drop litter.”

She described to News24 what prompted her ire.

“I had been in a holiday flat with family overlooking the beach with my family on New Year’s Eve…it was full of happiness and people celebrating the new year. There was a typical beach party going on and we were on a balcony overlooking people enjoying themselves…

“Things started to become ugly with sexual behaviour on the road and in the bushes…when we left the streets were so littered and terrible,” she said.

“It upset me that people from all kinds [of races] could cause that terrible litter."

Sparrow said that her post had been misconstrued and that she never meant any offence.

“I said the things I said were read wrong. I know I mentioned monkeys and I know I said the majority was black on black but there was a mix of people, I didn’t mean [it like that].

“On the coast there are hundreds of monkeys…they are cute…they come into my garden and empty my dustbins. On that day a troop of monkeys came to town and emptied the dustbins.

“It is a white thing. White people use monkey as a term of endearment when they are naughty or impish. I didn’t mean to insult anyone and it was just an expression I used.

“I am not a nasty person and I never meant to insult anyone. I was brought up with black people and I think they are wonderful. The black people that work for my daughter are lovely and kind and I hear you and I am apologetic that the way it came over looked like an insult and that I never meant it that way,” she said.

“We are all people on this earth and some have been educated better than others. Maybe we can blame the education here. I’m sure you know not to go around littering and I admit that it was a terrible thing I wrote,” Sparrow added.

She conceded that when viewed in hindsight, she saw how her post could be construed as racist.

Read more on:    penny sparrow  |  johannesburg  |  racism  |  social media

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