The racist outbreaks on social media have raised uncomfortable and challenging questions among many South Africans, one prominent one being,

“Are we really a racist country?”

From Penny Sparrow, Johannes David ‘Dawie’ Kriel, Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson, and the most recent outburst from Hout Bay resident Vanessa Hartley.

Hartley is at the centre of a racial row when she gripped the country with her ‘racist’ status update on Facebook (it has since been deleted).

Her offensive post reads: “They like stupid animals. We should tie them to a rope. To many Africans flocking to Hout Bay. Draw up a petition. Soon there will be nothing left of Hout Bay (sic).” 


This follows the viral video of Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson, who allegedly shoved Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa into a coffin while threatening to kill him.

The video caused massive reactions on social media which lead to their arrests.

Watch the #CoffinAssault video here:


A week earlier, Johannes David ‘Dawie’ Kriel posted a racist rant on Facebook over Diwali celebrations. He updated his status saying, “To those idol worshippers and devil disciples who buy them in the name of religion, piss-off to your dark hole in the backwoods of India you d***head.”

Related Article: Do you get my ‘black pain’? 

A Stellenbosch University alumnus Lovelyn Nwadeyi hit a nerve when she described the truth about being a black child.

In her address, she said, “The truth is that white South Africans will never understand what the experience of racism really means. It’s not just about being called a monkey by a Sparrow.

It’s not just about being told you are a “messed-up race that opens its legs just to get a child grant” as Marie van Rensburg brazenly claimed a few days ago; it is a daily psychological violence that manifests in every single area of one’s life.”

Watch her full address:


Early this year, Khaya Dlangahe tried to make sense of the racist outbreaks in which he commented on Twitter saying, “While I deeply respect and honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest mistakes I believe he and his comrades made was to tell their people to ‘forgive before an apology was offered’.

In South Africa, contrary to other normal peace processes, “forgiveness was given before the crime was acknowledged by the perpetrators.”

Will we ever see each other as a human race, instead of black and white?

Read more: Opinion: Hear the roar of black South African women

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