#PennySparrow faces several criminal charges

The estate agent referred to black people as monkeys on social media at the weekend.

Penny Sparrow. Picture: Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - Penny Sparrow now faces criminal charges and will also have to answer to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has instructed the board to initiate a probe. At the same time, Sparrow's former employer Jawitz Properties will be pursuing legal action.

Sparrow has been trending on Twitter and South Africans have reacted with outrage after she posted a comment expressing her disgust at seeing black beachgoers in KwaZulu-Natal.

She has since tried to say sorry for the post, but her apology was not well received by the public.

Thousands of people have responded to her posts with many sending her direct messages after she complained about black people littering at the coast.

I wrote this about another racist in 2012. Just replaced it with #PennySparrow now. The same still applies pic.twitter.com/HyvNzlwnJk

I can't begin to explain the anger that the #PennySparrow story has left me feeling. She must pack her bags and leave our beautiful country.

I think #PennySparrow is an endangered specie..someone please cage "it"

Dear #PennySparrow If you can't stand "monkeys" then Africa is a wrong continent for you. #RacistsMustFall pic.twitter.com/2bPWwW8OKj

Sparrow, a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal, has since been issued a notice of suspension.

The party announced it will be laying charges of crimen injuria against her.

The SAHRC is also investigating after concerns about racist comments made by Sparrow as well as economist Chris Hart and Justin van Vuuren on social media in recent days, saying further legal steps could be taken against all three.