Delays as plea negotiations continue for Sparrow

Durban – The Director of Public Prosecutions was required to give approval for plea bargain proceedings in racist former real estate agent Penny Sparrow’s case, the Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court heard on Monday.

She is facing a charge of crimen injuria. Magistrate Vincent Hlatshwayo briefly adjourned the matter on Monday morning so it could be finalised.

He warned a woman identified as Sparrow’s daughter to stop standing next to her during court proceedings.

"You are not to stand with her in the dock. Your support is appreciated, but you must sit in the public gallery."

The court was empty, except for a contingent of reporters in the public gallery.

In June, the Umzinto Equality Court ordered Sparrow to pay R150 000 to the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation for a racist rant she posted on Facebook. She referred to black beachgoers, celebrating New Year’s day in Durban, as monkeys.

The ANC took the matter to court. Once the Equality Court matter was finalised, Sparrow had to face the criminal charge in the Scottburgh Magistrate's Court.

In an interview with News24 at the time, Sparrow insisted that "monkey" was a term of endearment whites used for black people.

Sparrow said she had gone into hiding and received threats.

"There were terrible death threats. People said they were going to bomb my house and people sent pictures of naked women and saying I was going to be raped... it was shocking," she said.

Several South Africans have landed themselves in hot water for racist comments they made on social networks this year. They include estate agent Vicki Momberg, Capetonian Matthew Theunissen, Standard Bank economist Chris Hart, and Gauteng government official Velaphi Khumalo.

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