The affordable education loan option
Durban - Karin Hattingh on Thursday lit a symbolic lamp for Diwali, one year after the Bluff resident’s defamatory posts on Facebook riled Hindus across the province.
In the spirit of cultural unity before Hindus celebrate the Festival of Light this weekend, Hattingh and Durban businessman, Vivian Reddy, have buried the hatchet.
She and Reddy, through the South African Human Rights Commission, have reached an agreement. The terms of the agreement include an unconditional apology from Hattingh, a press conference on the issue, her taking up the role as social ambassador and an informative session on Diwali, starting on Thursday.
Reddy had originally sought criminal charges against Hattingh, who had turned to Facebook last Diwali to vent her anger about the use of loud sounding fireworks.
Her post read: “I thought it was a festival of light! What’s with the damn noise? Inconsiderate pr**ks, I hope you and your six-armed god and four-trunked elephants rot in a sea of illiterate, uneducated scum of rotting dead people that believe the same trash that you do! Go away, you are not needed, and neither is your stupid festival of noise! WHAT ABOUT OUR ANIMALS? Go away, please!!!!”
However, Reddy said he understood everyone made mistakes and felt the issue could be resolved out of court. Although the process has been a long one, both parties agreed yesterday that the best resolution had been found.
“We live in a diverse, multicultural society and not in isolation of each other. It follows that one cannot disregard the rights of others and their wellbeing,” Reddy said. “One ought (to) therefore not allow the indiscriminate lighting of the fireworks with this in mind.”
In her written apology, Hattingh, an animal lover, said she “unequivocally” retracted all her comments made and apologised to the Hindu community.
“I will stand up against loud fireworks but I am getting to know the laws, where they (fireworks) should be let off and will contact the police.”
She said she would avoid confrontation and had learnt not to vent her frustration via social media sites.
“If you’re upset, stay away from the computer. Pray, shower, do something but think about what will happen tomorrow,” she warned.
Reddy has since hired an agency to scour social network sites for any derogatory or defamatory posts related to Diwali and warned others to think of the consequences.
He also laid a complaint last year against Ballito resident, Caroline Ashworth, for a Facebook rant in which the former beauty contest participant described the Diwali celebrations as “f****** ridiculous”.
“I hate you people letting off fireworks! So inconsiderate – you don’t deserve health, wealth, prosperity or any other of the things that Diwali is supposed to bring you.”
Ashworth made amends after her post went viral, apologising to the Hindu community and agreeing to participate in social cohesive exercises.
“Caroline agreed to teach dance lessons to children in Phoenix and Chatsworth. She worked with the aged at the Aryan Benevolent Home in Chatsworth and helped flood victims,” Reddy said.