ANC in Parly calls for a ‘register’ for racist offenders
Racist rants on social media have placed the issue firmly on the national agenda since the start of the year.
CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) in Parliament has called for a national register of racist offenders.
Members of Parliament (MPs) were debating racial tension and conflict in the country, particularly at universities.
Racist rants on social media and racially charged clashes at institutions of higher learning have placed the issue firmly on the national agenda since the start of the year.
The governing party made the call during the debate.
ANC MP Jabulani Mahlangu told the National Assembly that the proposed register could be made accessible to embassies.
"Making the register accessible to embassies will assist them with the screening of visa applications and work permits to keep racists from their countries."
Mahlangu explained that the establishment of a national register would ensure that racists are "blacklisted."
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder called for peaceful protests.
"Mr Gordhan can do his best to repair foreign interest trust but if voters are burning university buildings, it draws a line to his attempts. Section 17 of the Constitution says 'everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.'"
At the same time, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says political parties and their leaders have played a toxic role in dividing South Africans along racial lines.
DA MP Yusuf Cassim warned that politicians have been stoking tensions for their own gain.
"Those responsible for divisive rhetoric must be called to pledge reconciliation and redress. If they refuse, they must be condemned to the dustbin of history."
At the beginning of the year, economist Chris Hart tweeted that 'More than 25 years after Apartheid ended, the victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities….'
More than 25 years after Apartheid ended, the victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities….— Chris Hart (@chrishartZA) January 3, 2016
His tweet was met with anger and he was suspended from his job at Standard Bank.
In another incident, real estate agent Penny Sparrow referred to black beachgoers as 'monkeys' in a Facebook post, which sparked national outrage.
Criminal charges were laid by the public against Sparrow.
Radio DJ, Gareth Cliff in a tweet, wrote that "people don't understand free speech at all".
He received criticism for the comment - with many labelling him a racist. He later apologised, saying he in no way condones racism and has a lot to learn.
Earlier this year, a Gauteng Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation Department employee made a racial post on Facebook.
Velaphi Khumalo took to Facebook to call on black South Africans to do to white people what 'Hitler did to the Jews' and also expressed his hatred towards white people by saying they are all racist.
The department called Khumalo's post 'barbaric and racist' and has distanced itself from his views.
Reports said Khumalo had apologised for the post, calling it emotional comments which do not represent the views of the African National Congress.
Last month, veteran sports journalist Dan Retief posted racial comments on Twitter regarding the Proteas's victory.
Proteas Captain AB de Villiers scored an unbeaten 101 to help his side claim victory over England at Newlands during the final one day international in the five-match series.
Retief then tweeted: "South Africa carried to victory by two white Afrikaners - politicians and media commentators take note - for what it is worth."