DURBAN - A RACIST tweet by a Durban man could see him in hot water after a local civic association sought to lay criminal charges against him for utterances that have been shared several times on social media.
A screenshot of the tweet, that has subsequently been taken down on Twitter and shared on Facebook, caused an uproar.
Dr TJ Ntshangase, with the Twitter handle @Jeffrey17397592, had tweeted: “To all doctors, I say let's stand together and take over by injecting every white person with the wrong injection in hospital to pay back revenge. Even if I get fired, I’m loaded with money already.”
Speaking to the Daily News on Wednesday, Ntshangase said he did not think his tweet would be taken seriously. However, Narendh Ganesh, chairperson of the Duffs Road Civic Association, did not see the humour in the tweet. He went to the Greenwood Park police station on Wednesday intent on laying a charge against Ntshangase.
“I met a detective at the station who said she needed to consult with the prosecutor to look at formulating a fitting charge. The detective discussed the matter with the prosecutor, who advised that it was a case for the Equality Court. I will go to the Equality Court tomorrow (today),” said Ganesh.
He would also be taking up the matter with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as he had found a doctor registered as TJ Ntshangase.
“The post may also put fear into people wanting to take the Covid-19 vaccine at health institutions, but it also incites racial hatred and division, which is intolerable under any circumstances.”
Okyerebea Ampofo-Anti, social media law expert and founder of Ampofo-Anti Consulting, said a statement of this nature encouraged others to harm people based on their race, and this amounted to hate speech.
“Hate speech is not protected by the right to freedom of expression because it is the type of speech that can cause serious damage in society.
“In terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, the courts can be approached to issue an appropriate sanction. embers of the public can also complain to the SA Human Rights Commission,” said Ampofo-Anti.
Ntshangase, who denied being a doctor, said Mhe wrote the post in response to another tweet about a black farm worker who had allegedly been killed by a white farmer.
“Sometimes when you are upset you just talk or act. But I’m still disappointed by all those white people. For just one tweet it’s a big story. Someone smart enough will see it’s a joke. But what I notice here in South Africa our lives are cheap, only white people’s lives are important,” he said.