Students apologise for racist posts
Two former students who posted racist remarks on Facebook have apologised, the SA Human Rights Commission says
“I would like to apologise if I have offended you or anyone,” the SAHRC quoted one of the students saying. It did not name the individual.
The commission found the comments, posted by former students of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, “amounted to prima facie utterances of hate speech with the potential of inciting violence”.
Two of the three former students attended a meeting convened by SAHRC deputy chair Pregs Govender.
In May, the two commented on a Facebook message insulting black people posted by one Ken Sinclair. The university suspended Sinclair after the comments. He had yet to respond to the commission’s requests for a meeting.
The commission’s preliminary findings were that the former students’ utterances “were hurtful and infringed on the dignity of black South Africans”.
The SAHRC said it welcomed the response by the former students.
They agreed to make amends by taking part in community services, and to participate in SAHRC outreach programmes to educate other young people.
The commission said it had received many complaints about derogatory and hateful comments on social media.
“Users of these platforms do not realise that their comments are publicised and instantly available online. Once these comments are posted they are in the public domain,” the SAHRC said.