Human Rights Commission condemns racism

2016-06-17 21:12
(SAHRC, News24)

(SAHRC, News24)

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Cape Town - The SA Human Rights Commission has condemned continuous outbursts of racism in South Africa after a video clip of a woman letting out a stream of racist insults at black policemen emerged earlier this week.

"It is really worrying to us as the Commission," said spokesperson Isaac Mangena.

"Twenty two years into our democracy, we would have thought we had got over these issues that divided us as black and white in the past," he said.

"The rage that goes into these posts...," said Mangena, trailing off. He was referring to a number of recent cases of racist posts on social media that have made headlines in the country.

The commission has just opened its own investigation after the clip of Vicki Momberg reacting to a smash and grab was posted by eNCA.

Momberg was complaining about the level of service she got from black police officials, repeatedly using racially insulting language about them, going as far as threatening to run over black people.

People becoming aware of rights

The Momberg case will be investigated by the commission, along with the complaints against sports promoter Velaphi Khumalo, realtor Penny Sparrow and economist Chris Hart.

Sparrow has already been fined R150 000 in her absence at the Equality Court sitting in Umzinto after she likened black people to monkeys in a rant about littering.

Khumalo received a final warning at his disciplinary hearing at the Gauteng government's department of arts and culture, where he works, and Hart resigned from Standard Bank.

Mangena said that, on the other hand, people were becoming acutely aware of their rights and how to complain when they had been offended.

In January, the commission received a record 200 complaints over Sparrow's Facebook post. He said the commission was based in all nine provinces to make it easier to lay a complaint.

LGBT rights

But earlier, Capetonian Daniel Amos questioned why it was taking the commission so long to finalise a complaint.

He said he had not been able to get an update on his complaint on Khumalo's Facebook comments. Khumalo had posted that he wanted to get rid of white people in the same way that Hitler did with Jews.

Mangena said the commission decided to wait until other legal or disciplinary processes had been completed before starting their investigations.

He said it is not just racism that was receiving attention.

The rights of the LGBT community were also becoming a bigger issue, and the commission had dealt with several such cases.

In March, the commission hosted a two-day conference on the subject to tackle the issues faced by the LGBT community.

Next week the commission will be conducting a number of site visits in Mpumalanga.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  human rights

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