Police probe racism row in Australia

2012-11-22 15:00
A man verbally abuses a French tourist on a Melbourne bus. (YouTube)

A man verbally abuses a French tourist on a Melbourne bus. (YouTube)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Melbourne - Police on Thursday were investigating a torrent of threatening and racist abuse against a French woman on a Melbourne bus that was caught on camera and went viral on YouTube.

The woman and a group of friends were returning from a day at the beach when one of them began singing in her native tongue, which promoted an angry reaction from some passengers on the packed bus.

One aggressively demanded she "speak English or die" and then threatened to cut her breasts off.

Another man pushing a pram joined in, shouting: "I'll fucking boxcutter [knife] you right now, dog."

The woman was then told: "Everybody on the bus wants to kill you" before the incident ended with a bus window being smashed.

The woman targeted, Fanny Desaintjores, told The Age newspaper she and her friends were terrified they would be physically assaulted.

Passengers silent, impassive

"I realise that maybe we shouldn't sing on public transport, but I think that's insane that they reacted like that. We're all adults," she said.

"We could have a conversation and talk gently, instead of all these insults and threats."

In an opinion piece, Fairfax Media said the most disturbing thing was that so few people spoke up in defence of the woman.

"The majority of passengers were silent and impassive, probably wishing they were elsewhere," it said.

"A racist, abusive bigot is like sitting next to the smelliest person on the bus - you hold your breath and count the stops until you can get off."

Parts of the incident were caught on camera by stand-up comedian Mike Nayna and the footage has been viewed thousands of times on YouTube, with the story picked up by French newspapers.

'I hate blacks'

Melbourne police said they were investigating "verbal threats and racist taunts towards a group of women travelling on a bus".

"The incident was reported to police and detectives are appealing for anyone with information to come forward as there were a number of people on the bus at the time," police said.

Nayna, who describes himself as "brown", says that when he asked the passengers to calm down another man started ranting at him about hating black people.

"He said darkies should be kept at the back of the bus where they belong, before repeatedly yelling 'I hate blacks'," Nayna told reporters.

Read more on:    australia  |  racism
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
27 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.