Apologise for using the k-word or else: SAHRC

Chairman of the 2010 Local Organising Committee Irvin Khoza has a week to apologise for using the word "k****r" at a media conference or he will be taken to court.

While the South African Human Rights Commission said it would be happy to meet with Khoza to dispose of the matter as soon as possible, if he failed to respond to their correspondence by next week Friday it would have no option but to "consider instituting proceedings in the Equality Court".

The commission sent a letter to Khoza on Friday saying it had taken note of his remarks.

During the conference on Monday Khoza told a journalist to: "Stop thinking like a k****r because you are contriving and misleading about something that is not there."

The commission wrote that Khoza's statement conflicted with the values of equity and human dignity which were at the heart of the constitution.

It also said that the statement was demeaning to black people in general.

"We understand from media reports that you are reported as saying that you did apologise before making the statement in question and therefore see no need to apologise again," the letter reads.

"With respect, we disagree as the apology could never be said to justify the use of the word and further the apology was never intended in our view to cover the idea that was advanced in your statement - namely that black people's thought processes and intellectual abilities are inferior."

In conclusion the commission said: "Your statement has caused hurt and indignity to many South Africans and we do believe that irrespective of your motive at the time you should, in order that we may move forward, apologise to the people of South Africa for the remarks that you made." - Sapa

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