Johannesburg - In an exclusive interview with News24 on Tuesday, controversial former realtor Penny Sparrow insisted that she was not a racist. Sparrow had gone to ground in the wake of a social media furore relating to comments she made on Facebook, in which she likened black beachgoers to monkeys. "I’m saddened to hear people call me a racist, because I am not," she said. "It scares me to hear it… it’s terrible. I have never used the k-word and it has never lived in my vocabulary. I never use the word nigger, and nothing like that. They are human beings to me and I have accepted the change," she said. "There are a lot of highly intelligent black people… lovely people. I worked for an Indian girl… she is a lovely person and I am really not a racist," Sparrow added. News24 tracked Sparrow in Johannesburg. She has been in hiding since January.She was ordered by the Equality Court to pay R150 000 to the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation for her racist comments. The court described her post as "reprehensible". Magistrate Irfaan Khalil said the amount had to payable within 60 days and he interdicted Sparrow from further hate speech.