SA’s Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula, who has been under attack by some racist individuals on social media, has broken his silence on the increasing rate of racial tantrums on social media
The minister who is no stranger to generating controversy on Twitter, came under fire from some quarters after the Springboks lost 26-20 against Ireland at Newlands.
This happened after Mbalula said he loved the national team whether they won and lost. The minister also said he couldn’t help racists, as they needed help. It is not clear which racist he was referring to, however, but his remark sparked a huge debate about the national team.
“I am a patriot, I Luv the springboks win or lose unfortunately I can’t help the racists they need a prayer.
#SAvIRE,” Mbalula tweeted.
In what seems to be an immediate reply to his tweet, Jan van Rooyen @ysterjan tweeted: “@MbalulaFikile you are the biggest racist just by tweeting this. Leaders must unite people. Stop creating division!Stop hating white people!”
Mbalula was just few months back been a sublect to a racist tongue lashing from Matthew Theunissen, who tweeted: “So no more sporting events for South Africa. I’ve never been more proud that to say our government are a bunch of K*****S…yes I said it so go f**k yourselves you black f*****g c**ts.”
Mbalula replied Twitter, saying: “Racist people like Matt insult government he believes its plan to transform SA take the country only backwards.
This happened after Mbalula suspended the privileges of almost all the major sports federations from bidding for international tournaments due to their lack of transformation.
After a widespread outcry over Theunissen’s remarks, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) started an investigation into the incident. It ordered that Capetonian Matthew Theunissen must carry out sport community service following his racist rants should serve as a lesson for others, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Monday.
Despite Theunissen’s apology, the commission sentenced him to community work for a period of three to six months.
“This experience is meant to sensitize Theunissen to the need for transformation and challenges facing poor disadvantaged communities in Cape Town,” said the commission.
Realizing the outrage and hurt caused by his post, Theunissen responded immediately to the SAHRC attempts to contact him. Prior to meeting with the commission, he issued a public apology.
As part of the settlement, beyond the unconditional apology, which the commission deemed acceptable and sincere, the parties agreed that Theunissen would embark on community service for a period of three to six months in a currently poor, disadvantaged area of the Cape Town metropole in the area of sports development.