Velaphi Khumalo called for white South Africans to be subjected to what ‘Hitler did to the Jews’. He has been told to issue a public apology.
By Luke Daniel
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) argued that a public apology from Velaphi Khumalo will suffice as punishment for his racial utterances. Khumalo appeared before the Equality Court for a Facebook comment in which he called for the massacre of white South Africans.
The SAHRC settled with Khumalo ordering the accused to apologise publicly, as that would deter other South Africans from making racial utterances. Khumalo was also ordered to pay R30 000 to charity.
Blacks must do to whites what “Hitler did to the Jews” – Khumalo
In an earlier interview with Khumalo’s legal counsel, Stuart Wilson pleaded with the court, saying:
“There is no doubt that Mr Khumalo should not have said what he said. Not only did he apologise profusely‚ he faced disciplinary action by his employer.”
Khumalo was responding to another racist Facebook rant by Penny Sparrow, in which the latter compared Durban beachgoers to monkeys.
As reported by Times Live, this reactionary offence was the basis of Khumalo’s defence argument, with Wilson saying:
“Mr Khumalo was‚ at the time he made his remarks‚ engaged in a fierce debate about the meaning of another Facebook post that likened black people to ‘monkeys’ who had been ‘released’ onto ‘public beaches’ for New Year’s Eve.”
‘Velaphi Khumalo’s statement meaningless hyperbole’ – Defence team
Adding to the argument, Wilson maintained that any reasonable person would have recognised the statement as meaningless hyperbole.
At the time of his racial rant, Khumalo was employed by the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation. The department strongly condemned his statements; briefly suspending the employee with full pay.
The case is closely related to that of Vicki Momberg, who was recently sentenced to an effective two years behind bars, for a race-related verbal attack on a Johannesburg police officer.
Speaking on behalf of the SAHRC, Advocate Mark Oppenheimer told that court that Velaphi’s public apology is punishment enough, saying:
“A public apology would send a signal to others that they should not do the same.”
Judge Roland Sutherland has reserved judgment in the Equality Court case against Khumalo, which is being heard at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. (Beek Nuus