'It’s nice to be white': SAHRC to investigate complaints about song

2019-07-13 21:17


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The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says a complaint about the lyrics to a song by artist Shane McCallagan warrant a full investigation.

In the song, Dis Lekker om Wit te Wees, McCallaghan, better known as Shane "Sies Jou Vark", compares black people to white people.

Some of the lyrics, translated from Afrikaans, read: "It’s nice to be white… to be able to read and write, to be able to swim in rough seas… It’s nice to smell good and know how to use a toilet and avoid smelling like a shebeen."

SAHRC commissioner Andre Gaum confirmed that a complaint had been laid, "which will be assessed and investigated if there is a prima facie violation of human rights".

McCallagan was quoted by The Citizen as saying: "The song is five years old, and it is not meant to be racist. It was written to make people laugh and was intended to be a funny party song."

Speaking to News24 after seeing the lyrics, Gaum added: "On what you have sent me, it appears to me that this will warrant a full investigation".

Gaum said the commission took umbrage with the lyrics: "This certainly also frustrates all the SAHRC efforts to foster a culture of human rights in our country. In my view, white (or black) people who make these kind of remarks seem not to appreciate what damage they do to a nation."

He added that the rights body would act with determination when people attempted to derail "our nation building efforts".

Read more on:    sahrc  |  racism

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