Govt, political parties, SA public united in calls for action against Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen used the 'k-word' in tweet over Minister Fikile Mbalula’s transformation decision.

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula has hit back saying transformation in sport is not 'a race question'. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Government, political parties and members of the public have called for swift action to be taken against a Cape Town man for posting a racist Facebook message which has gone viral.

In the controversial post, Noordhoek resident Matthew Theunissen used the k-word in venting his anger over Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula's decision to ban three sporting codes from hosting international tournaments.

Mbalula's decision was made public last week, when he released a report on the progress of transformation in sport.

Tweets with the hashtag Theunissen continue to stream in on the social media platform, with members of the public adding their voices to a barrage of messages filled with disgust.

The Democratic Alliance, African National Congress and Congress of the People have called for a thorough investigation.

Meanwhile, the sport minister has hit back saying transformation in sport is not "a race question".

"Racists and their remarks, just like in soccer, must be shown a red card. But those who are arrogant and do it blatantly, like Matthew, must be taken on."

Last month, Justice Minister Michael Masutha announced legislation to deal with racism and hate speech will soon be introduced.


At the same time, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has confirmed it's received a complaint against Matthew Theunissen.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille spoke out against the racist post and indicated she would take it to the SAHRC.

LISTEN: De Lille says Matthew Theunissen must be investigated

The commission's Isaac Mangena has confirmed receipt of the complaint.

"It came through the office the mayor of the City of Cape Town."

Theunissen has responded to the public outcry by saying he regrets the post.

"I have no excuse, I have no excuse at all. I just wanted to apologise and I am truly sorry for using hurtful language. I really didn't mean to hurt anybody."

LISTEN: 'I made the biggest mistake of my life'

The SAHRC says it will now assess the complaint before launching an investigation.