Amid a slew of criticism and a social media storm, Matthew Theunissen insists he is not a racist.
On Monday, in reaction to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s announcement that a number of sporting codes would not be allowed to bid to host international events as they were not meeting transformation goals, Theunissen posted on Facebook: “So no more sporting events for South Africa… I’ve never been more proud to say that our government are a bunch of k*****s… yes I said it so go f***k yourselves you black f***ing c***ts (sic).”
In an interview with John Maytham on CapeTalk on Tuesday, Theunissen apologised, and said he posted the remarks out of anger and that he would regret the remarks for the rest of his life.
He told Maytham he would contact the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in order to deal with the matter.
According to the SAHRC, there has been an increase in the number of reported racist incidents on social media.
The commission said racism could no longer be tolerated.
SAHRC spokesman Isaac Mangena said the body had received several complaints about racist posts, including one regarding Theunissen’s post.
That complaint came from Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, said Mangena.
“The complaint is requesting the commission to investigate allegations of racism after a social media post which created a storm in the country.
“We have also received several informal requests from members of the public for us to investigate, and we have advised them to lodge formal complaints.”
He added the commission was concerned about racism in general, which had seen an increase in recent months.
Western Cape ANC spokesman Yonela Diko also condemned the comments made by Theunissen, calling them “utterly despicable”.
“We cannot allow people to get away with making these derogatory remarks as there are laws and processes to ensure that racists are brought to book,” Diko said.
Reaction to Theunissen’s post continued to trend on Tuesday.
Cope and the DA have joined the chorus of condemnation of Theunissen’s remarks.
Cope spokesman Dennis Bloem said someone with a double master’s degree should know better and “manifest superior logic and thinking”, and that “every human being on earth is descended of an African mother”.
“Instead of contributing to the building of a post-apartheid inclusive and caring society, he continues to reflect the underbelly of a remnant of society where people despise their fellow human beings because of their skin colour,” said Bloem.
He added that racism was “repulsive” to the party and that racists in our society”are making anti-racism legislation inevitable”.
“Instead of voluntarily shunning racism, legal censures will soon have to be obtained to castigate racists.”
As part of the Inclusive City campaign, De Lille said she was fighting all forms of discrimination to ensure equality among the masses.
“We are mobilising the voices of the majority who are not racist to speak out and condemn all forms of racism… and to say: ‘Don’t let racists speak for you’.”[Source: Cape Argus]