Society is becoming increasingly polarised by racist speech, with fresh cases involving racial slurs occurring weekly. Kessie Nair recently used the “k-word” to label President Cyril Ramaphosa and has been charged with crimen iniuria. In August, Adam Catzavelos posted a Facebook video (strangely reminiscent of Penny Sparrow’s 2015 “beach monkey” post), using the “k-word” to describe the demographics of a Greek beach. Last week, a Hot91.9fm DJ, Sasha Martinengo, was fired for referring to Julius Malema as a monkey during a broadcast. Martinengo has apologised but has since tweeted: “I’m sorry … but … Anyone, irrespective of their race … who disrespects a woman is a monkey.” The EFF has retaliated. It will be pursuing a criminal case against Martinengo, because “racists belong in jail”. Most of those who use racist language face criminal charges or lose their jobs. They generally apologise. Some do so unreservedly; others add the “I’m not a racist” rider. But these apologies have litt...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.