Data from the South African Human Rights Commission suggest that South Africans are becoming more racist.
From April to December 2015, the HRC said it received 470 complaints – 270 of which were about racist comments.
This is compared to 493 complaints received in 2014 of which 293 were racist comments.
Following a racially turbulent start to 2016, the group said it would no longer make any public statements about investigations into racism in the country, as it had received a large number of complaints within the first two weeks of January.
A number of South Africans had been reported to the HRC for making racist comments in January, including Penny Sparrow, economist Chris Hart and Gauteng sports department employee Velaphi Khumalo.
Sparrow compared black people to monkeys in commenting about the state of South Africa’s beaches over the holiday period.
In reaction to Sparrow’s comments, Khumalo called for the country to do to whites what Hitler had done to the Jews.
A further 45 social media postings were submitted to the HRC by the FW de Klerk Foundation, claiming they were inciting violence against white people.
Of the 270 complaints received by the HRC in 2015, 121 were from Gauteng, giving the province the dubious title of being most racist.
These are the most racist provinces by reported number complaints:
- Gauteng – 121
- Kwazulu-Natal – 41
- Western Cape – 29
- Free State – 25
Meanwhile, the ANC has vowed to bring racists to book, saying that it has laid criminal charges against DA members and others.
At the top of the ANC’s list is DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard, who the party wants to see pay a R500,000 fine for sharing a Facebook post which called for the return of apartheid-era president PW Botha.