Penny Sparrow trial postponed as she gets new lawyer

Penny Sparrow (File)
Penny Sparrow (File)

Umzinto - Penny Sparrow made a brief appearance in the Umzinto Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Sparrow, who made disparaging comments about black beachgoers after a New Year’s Eve party on Facebook, has been charged with crimen injuria.

Sparrow was silent as she shuffled into the dock, and clutched her hands to her mouth while she was addressed by Magistrate Vincent Hlatshwayo.

The matter was postponed to allow her new attorney of record to consult with her, and to allow the State an opportunity to furnish the defence with the contents of the docket.

She will now be represented by Legal Aid attorney Elaine MacDonald.

In her original Facebook post, Sparrow wrote: "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 amongst 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," she continued.

Death threats

"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," Sparrow added.

In June, the Umzinto Equality Court ordered Sparrow to pay R150 000 to the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation for her racist Facebook rant.

In an interview with News24, Sparrow claimed that "monkey" was used as a term of endearment by white people.

Sparrow, who had been in hiding at the time, broke down as she revealed that she had received threats after her comments.

"The threats were terrible... my phone was so busy that I couldn't dial out. 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. They include Vicki Momberg, Capetonian Matthew Theunissen, Standard Bank’s Chris Hart, and government official Velaphi Khumalo.

Sparrow is expected to appear in the Umzinto Magistrates Court on September 12.

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