A racist tweet by a Durban person could see them in hot water after a Durban civic association sought to lay criminal charges for utterances that have been shared on social media, reports the Daily News.
A screenshot of the tweet, that has subsequently been taken down on Twitter and shared on Facebook, caused an uproar. Dr TJ Ntshangase, with the Twitter handle @Jeffrey17397592, had tweeted: “To all doctors, I say let’s stand together and take over by injecting every white person with the wrong injection in hospital to pay back revenge. Even if I get fired, I’m loaded with money already.” Ntshangase later said he did not think his tweet would be taken seriously.
However, Narendh Ganesh, chairperson of the Duffs Road Civic Association, did not see the humour in the tweet. He plans to head to the Equality Court to lay a complaint. He would also be taking up the matter with the Health Professionals Council of SA as he had found a doctor registered as TJ Ntshangase.
“The post may also put fear into people wanting to take the COVID-19 vaccine at health institutions, but it also incites racial hatred and division, which is intolerable under any circumstances,” Ganesh is quoted as saying. Okyerebea Ampofo – anti, social media law expert and founder of Ampofo-Anti Consulting, said a statement of this nature encouraged others to harm people based on their race, and this amounted to hate speech.
The South African reports that post, which was retweeted, shared on Facebook and screen grabbed, has since been removed. The person using the Twitter handle @Jeffrey17397592 has also since changed his/her profile picture and name to “Why is Black Lives Cheap compared to Whites”.
It was not possible to contact the poster of the racist tweet via direct message on Twitter and s/he had not responded to a mention in a direct Tweet requesting comment on Friday.
However she earlier told Daily News reporter Anelisa Khubeka that she was not a doctor. She claimed she had written the post in response to a tweet about the killing of a black farm worker by a white farmer.
“Sometimes when you are upset you just talk or act. But I’m still disappointed by all those white people. For just one tweet it’s a big story. Someone smart enough will see it’s a joke. But what I notice here in South Africa our lives are cheap, only white people’s lives are important,” she told Daily News.
Ganesh said he had decided to open a case because he wanted to take a stand against racial hatred.
“If you take the Penny Sparrow case that is the other end of the racial hue. Everyone wanted her neck…it is about not formenting racial hatred. If one person acts on that kind of thing…one death is one too many and I am not prepared to be silent anymore,” he said.
“My patriotic duty is to ensure SA is a better place for all minus racial hatred and division. We are supposed to be a non-racial society constitutionally. We are South African whatever our colour is should not matter and when people put out posts like this they forment hatred and animosity, whether against, whites or blacks or Indians or coloureds it would not matter,” he said.