Political parties react to controversial social media posts

Johannesburg – Political parties have spoken out strongly against controversial social media comments made by Penny Sparrow and well-known economist Chris Hart.

In a statement, the ANC said such remarks were reminiscent of the apartheid attitude towards the indigenous people of the country.

“They also degrade black people as people not deserving of using the beaches in their country of birth. They further accuse the majority of our country, who are mostly black, as having a sense of entitlement and hatred towards the minority,” the statement read.

Sparrow described black beachgoers as “monkeys”, in an apparent reaction to litter left behind after New Year’s celebrations.

Hart came under fire after he tweeted on Sunday that 25 years after apartheid ended; the victims were increasing, along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities.

This has resulted in mass reaction across social media platforms, as well as from political quarters.

Sparrow, a DA member, has since been given notice of intention to suspend her.

Hart, who works for Standard Bank, has been suspended pending an investigation. The SA Human Rights Commission is also investigating.

The ANC said Hart and Sparrow should have known better and should not be allowed to polarise society.

“We have made great progress in building this nation and no amount of racism from individuals or groups must be allowed in our society,” the ANC said.

Pan African Congress of Azania spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe said racism was fuelled by inequalities in South African society.

“What is wrong when African people enjoy their ancestors’ land and its beautiful nature, clearly other people have a problem. Penny believes that something should only be exclusive to one superior group of people.”

The PAC said government should do more to distribute wealth as those who dominated the economy were of the belief that they could say anything.

Criminal charges

Meanwhile, the South African Civic Organisation (Sanco) has hit out at the DA for laying criminal charges against Sparrow while at the same time, allowing Diane Kohler-Barnard to represent the party in Parliament.

Sanco national spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu said: “This latest racist incident has unmasked the DA’s genetic make-up and true identity suggesting that the party remains a bastion of racists.”

Mahlangu said the two incidents and how they were handled exposed the facade of DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

Kohler Barnard’s was previously expelled for sharing a Facebook post from journalist Paul Kirk, in which he praised former apartheid president PW Botha.

Her expulsion was lifted on December 22, after she appealed the October ruling.