The African National Congress as the ruling party, have looked into the major cause of racism and racist tendencies in the country and have come up with the conclusion that it would be best to make racism a punishable offence under the law.
The ANC said that the existing laws in the legislation are not enough to stop people from making racist remarks that may end up causing more problems and as such, they proposed stricter sanctions and punishment for racism. This idea was brought up majorly due to the recent controversial comments made on the media about black people and the comments black people made in retaliation.
KwaZulu-Natal real estate agent Penny Sparrow raised the ire of social media commentators when she referred to black people as monkeys in the post below:
ANC Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the party is considering imprisonment as the major punishment for the racist transgressor.
“It will promote reconciliation because as a nation we’ll be able to shun and isolate racists,” said Mothapo
Quiet in support of the ANC’s decision to criminalize racism is the The Economic Freedom Fighters who also called for a debate on criminalizing racism. They stated clearly that Crimen Injuria, which is the act of seriously impairing the dignity of another is a common law offence in South Africa which needs to be nipped while the Government still has some power to do so.
In light of the development above, Penny Sparrow could be charged with this crime since the Democratic Alliance (DA) opened a case against her over her monkey comments.
Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has launched an investigation into racist comments made on social media and is calling for formal complaints. The commission says it is deeply concerned by recent posts made.
SAHRC spokesperson Dieketseng Diale said it’s concerning that comments of this kind still appear 22 years into democracy.
“In the Bill of Rights, the right of human dignity needs to be respected. People need to know that it is a violation to say something like this about another person.”