SAHRC asked to investigate another k-word incident

SAHRC asked to investigate another k-word incident

Screenshots of Whatsapp messages emerged recently on social media, where a person, allegedly presented as being a service manager apparently makes a series of racist remarks.

Mobile phone with Facebook and WhatsApp/ iStock

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has asked the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to review a case involving racism, allegedly attributed to a Lindsay Saker service manager. 

Screenshots of Whatsapp messages emerged recently on social media, where a person, allegedly presented as being a service manager at the company's Kempton Park branch, apparently makes a series of racist remarks. The person behind the messages refers to staff at the company as "k****s" and "monkeys". The discussion continues with the person stating that African people "belong in the jungle along with EFF members and Julius Malema where the wild animals can kill them all". 

The Foundation's Executive Director, Neeshan Balton, said: "Screenshots of these messages were brought to our attention. While we may not have clarity as to who is behind the messages as yet, we must condemn the racist terminology used in the discussion. Racist vitriol of this nature has no place in our society. 

ALSO READ: Catzavelos to appear in court next week for k-word slur

"We have, over the last few years, had a series of incidents in which the k-word was used, or where African people have been dehumanised and referred to as 'monkeys'. We have previously condemned similar racial sentiments expressed by the likes of Alochna Moodley, who used the k-word on board a flight, and DJ Sasha Martinengo, who called EFF leader, Julius Malema, a 'monkey'. We hope that the perpetrator behind the messages is brought to book, and that stringent sanction is imposed on them by the relevant authorities. The messages clearly express extreme hatred and do nothing but attempt to sow racial discord. 

Balton noted, "As with other cases of this nature, we had contacted the company to find out what steps they had taken. Lindsay Saker indicated that the service manager in question undertook a polygraph test and his phone underwent forensic analysis. Their investigations concluded that the individual did not send the racist messages and that it was fabricated. The company has also opened a case with the police to ascertain who was behind the malicious messages."

He, however, stated: "Based on the seriousness of the matter, we have referred it to the SAHRC for further consideration. We have also asked the company to take the results of their investigation before the SAHRC to test the veracity of the case and pronounce on the matter."

Balton added: "If the SAHRC evaluates and pronounces on the matter, it would serve to reassure the public that an independent and external institution, who regularly deals with issues of racism, has either cleared the individual's name or concluded otherwise. Having the SAHRC probe the matter may also act as a deterrent to others in future, who may seek to get away with using an issue as sensitive as racism, possibly under the pretense of being someone else, to stir up further tension and division in a society that can ill-afford it.

Show's Stories