Ms Vivienne Basson apologises for racist Facebook postings
The SAHRC has received and accepted an unconditional apology by Ms Vivienne Basson who was accused of discrimination on the basis of race and culture following her post of Facebook earlier this year. The apology was received during a conciliation meeting with Ms Basson recently.
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The Commission was alerted in April 2014 through the media to comments made by Ms Basson on social media platform Facebook.
The comment included words that appeared discriminatory on the basis of race, culture and ethnic or social origin: “Effing k****r taxi. And once again I vote for the death penalty. These savages don’t (sic) deserve to live…they can rot in hell.”
Even though the respondent published an apology for the “unnecessary and hurtful remarks” following an outrage from the public, the Commission decided to pursue this matter further with Ms Basson in the interest of fully understanding the contextual background of the comments, her intent and to address the matter more fully in terms of our Constitutional mandate – which is to ensure that the rights contained in the Bill of Rights are not violated and that appropriate redress is provided where rights have been violated.
During the investigation Ms Basson expressly took responsibility for the comments and the language she used in the post on Facebook, and she indicated her acceptance that this had been wrong.
Ms Basson expressed sincere remorse for the hurt caused by her utterances, and, despite the actions she already took, she again indicated and reiterated her unequivocal repudiation of her comment, and further, confirmed that she had removed same from her social media profile.
The Commission subsequently recommended that Ms Basson tenders an official unconditional apology to the Commission, and through the Commission to all members of society.
Ms Basson has written an apology, saying:
“I (Ms Basson) hereby tender my summary and unequivocal apology to the public, the Commission and the individuals who were adversely affected and/or hurt or offended by the comments made by myself on Facebook in the manner described in this agreement. I therefore truly and genuinely apologise for making such statements. I accept the recommendations of the Commission herein and undertake from this date onwards to refrain from, by word and deed, conducting myself in a manner associated with hate and hurtful speech or racism in the form complained about.”
The Commission recommends that the members of the public accept this apology and deems this matter henceforth resolved.