Former estate agent Penny Sparrow’s crimen injuria case for labelling black people “monkeys” in a Facebook rant about beach litter will continue in the Umzinto Magistrates’ Court today.
The criminal case comes after she was found guilty of hate speech in the Equality Court and ordered to pay R150 000 to the Adelaide and Oliver Tambo Foundation.
According to the South African Police Service glossary, crimen injuria consists of “unlawfully and intentionally impairing the dignity or privacy of another person”.
In Sparrow’s last appearance on August 15, the court heard that the case would be postponed so that her new attorney from Legal Aid could consult with her, and that the State could give the defence the contents of its docket against Sparrow.
In January Sparrow posted on Facebook: “These monkeys that are allowed to be released on New Year’s eve and New Year’s day on to public beaches towns etc obviously have no education what so ever so to allow them loose is inviting huge dirt and troubles and discomfort to others.
“I’m sorry to say that I was among the revellers and all I saw were black on black skins what a shame. I do know some wonderful and thoughtful black people. This lot of monkeys just don’t want to even try. But think they can voice opinions about statute and get their way oh dear.
“From now I shall address the blacks of South Africa as monkeys as I see the cute little wild monkeys do the same, pick drop and litter.”
She posted an apology a few days later, following a public outcry over her comments. In it, she said that she did not mean her post to be “a personal insult to anyone” and that she was “sorry if you have taken it personally”.
She also claimed that she was “not racial”, adding that she helped “underprivileged people of all races”.
In an exclusive interview with News24, Sparrow said she meant no malice, but understood why people were upset about the post.
The Sparrow case was the first of a year of outbursts which landed several people in hot water.
Last week, another estate agent Vicky Momberg, appeared in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court on eight charges of crimen injuria after alleging hurling racial insults at a black police officer after a smash and grab in Johannesburg. – News24