The South African Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, called on the country’s citizens to move beyond the constitution in dealing with racism.
In a ‘convention’ towards nation building, social cohesion and reconciliation that was held at the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC) on February 1st, Mthethwa stated that racism should be dealt with firmly.
“Obviously we need to criminalise hate speech and all these hurtful things. The constitution is clear but we need to move beyond the constitution to deal with this practice so that you deter the would be racist from embarking on a copycat kind of action,”
Mthethwa says that government officials met in December to discuss an action plan that would target racism and xenophobia.
Mthethwa went on to single out Penny Sparrow and her recent social media post calling black beach goers monkeys. He says that Sparrow feels the pressure from the outrage she’s received from the public.
The minister says that even though Sparrow gave a “half-hearted”, a lot still has to be done.
“They do feel the pressure but it’s not enough. It’s not enough because as long as people get away easily on this matter, it will encourage others because after all you’ll say sorry,” says Mthethwa.