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Human Rights Commission considers racist Joost meme

A meme that sparked outrage on social media was posted by Riaan Lucas on Facebook on Tuesday.

A meme posted following Joost van der Westhuizen's death sparked outrage on social media. Picture: facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it’s in the process of considering whether a controversial meme made about former Springbok Joost van der Westhuizen is eligible for investigation.

A meme that sparked outrage on social media was posted by Riaan Lucas on Facebook on Tuesday.

It depicts the face of Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire with the caption "Me when I hear a white man has died".

Lucas has since deactivated his account.

The SAHRC has confirmed that it has received complaints from at least two bodies, including trade union Solidarity, requesting that a formal investigation be launched.

Spokesperson Gushwell Brooks says a number of matters have to considered.

“If there’s a complainant then we’ll need to speak to the complainant directly and the respondents.”

At the same time, the company listed as an employer on Lucas's Facebook account, the South African Wine Industry and Systems, has denied having him as an employee.

In his profile picture, Riaan is seen posing at the University of South Africa, but the institution has not confirmed whether he is an employee.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)