Models in show of reconciliation
Both women have committed to building a non-racist South Africa, even if it means being part of a project to do so
TWO models, who stirred a firestorm after trading racial slurs on social media, have apologised, saying they acted out of anger.
Meeting for the first time at DA spokesman Mmusi Maimane's home in Weltevreden Park on Thursday, Jessica Leandra dos Santos, 20, and Tshidi Thamana, 17, said they were aware of the severity of their Twitter actions.
Last Friday Dos Santos came under fire for tweeting: "Just, well took on an arrogant and disrespectful k***** inside Spar. Should have punched him, should have."
A few days later, Thamana responded on Twitter: "Dear Mr Peter Mokaba ... I wish all white people were killed when you sang 'kill the boer' we wouldn't be experiencing @Jessica Leandra's racism ..."
But they sang a different tune after Thursday's breakfast, and attributed their rants to "anger and frustration".
They said they, in fact, did not have anything against each other.
"I do apologise for the word I used. It wasn't intended to the black race, but to the individual who disrespected me. It was said out of anger," Dos Santos said.
In turn, Thamana responded: "I don't wish death on anyone of any race ... Jessica, I am really sorry about wishing death on you. I didn't mean it".
They shook hands, saying they wanted to close the chapter and return South Africa to where it was a week ago.
Maimaine, who denied capitalising on the public backlash, suggested the two deactivate their Twitter accounts.
Both women have committed to building a non-racist South Africa, even if it means being part of a project to do so.
Maimane said he would write to the Human Rights Commission (HRC), which had taken an extensive battering from ordinary South Africans who sought retribution following both the models' inflammatory postings on Twitter.
He said the intention was to render a chain of evidence on where the matter stood.
Maimane added that he felt he had an obligation to act because he was as incensed as everyone who saw the models' tweets.
"I am not convinced that they are racist. They are two young people who reacted in the most irrational way and caused major damage. They accept that they were immature," he said.
Dos Santos, who has had to deal with the blow of losing sponsors, defended another tweet on her timeline in which she referred to someone as being an "African monkey". She said it was not aimed at any race.
"I refer to myself as a monkey, and my family as monkeys. I think 'African monkey' was taken out of context."