Man Fined for Making Racist Remarks Against Hindus in South Africa
Alexander Mac Gibbon, a white South African man, made offensive remarks during Diwali in a Facebook post in 2016.
A South African man was fined Rand 20,000 and ordered to do community service by a court in Durban for making racist comments about Hindus on the social media.
Alexander Mac Gibbon, a white South African man, made racists remarks on Facebook in 2016 over the use of fireworks during the Diwali festival. He also said that the first set of migrants hailing from India came to South Africa as indentured laborers to work on sugarcane plantations, the Phoenix Sun reported.
“F****** charos and their shit! No consideration! They are supposed to revere animals, with a cow being sacred, but as my friend from India once said, the f****** charos sent here from India to cut cane were all low-class rubbish with no morals, it shows,” Mac Gibbon had written in his Facebook post, according to the report.
Mac Gibbon deactivated his account on Facebook following the backlash.
Hailing the court judgement, the South African Hindu Dharma Sabha said that it is a victory against people who attack Hindus on social media. The South African Equality Court also ordered Mac Gibbon to apologize to the community, and complete 50 hours of community service at Durban’s Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa.
The Sabha wrote to the South African Human Rights Commission after Mac Gibbon posted the comments in 2016, and the Commission initiated the Equality Court action against him, as per the report.
“The pro-Hindu Settlement Agreement ordered by the Equality Court marks a major historic victory for the entire Hindu community of South Africa. The Sabha has sent out a strong signal to Hindu bashers to stop or be stopped. The South African Hindu Dharma Sabha will not allow anyone to denigrate our glorious Hindu religion and culture or trample upon Hindu sensitivities with impunity,” Ram Maharaj, the president of the Sabha, was quoted as saying by the publication.
Maharaj added that religious fanatics must recognize and “respect the right of others to be different, having different religious beliefs, principles and practices.”
The Sabha, in its founding affidavit, had stated that Mac Gibbon’s remarks on the social media belittled the Hindu community.
The community had earlier also protested against another man, Dawie Kriel, for making racists slurs at Hindus in 2016. He called them “idol worshippers” in his post on Facebook in 2016, sparking criticism from many Indians in South Africa.
“It is with great disappointment, that I still find people making a mockery of our religion in South Africa. Hinduism teaches us to love and respect all,” one of the residents had then posted on Facebook, the Chatsworth Rising Sun reported.
Kriel later published an apology, saying that he put up the social media post in anger.
The Equality Court, approached by the African National Congress and Democratic Alliance, found Kriel guilty in 2017. He was slapped with a R6000 fine or 12 months imprisonment, suspended for five years, East Coast Radio reported.