Picture: Pexels
Picture: Pexels

Offensive Diwali post sparks outrage

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Nov 12, 2018

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Durban - A man has upset political parties and cultural organisations in KwaZulu-Natal with an offensive post over fireworks during the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Johan Olivier took to social media to vent his frustrations about the big bangs and fireworks last week.

Olivier, who is from Greytown, could be investigated by the SAPS and the SA Human Rights Commission for his Facebook post, in which he talked about his annoyance with the use of big bangs and fireworks during the religious celebrations.

Despite numerous attempts to get comment from Olivier, he had not responded to The Mercury at the time of publish.

The offensive post was removed on Sunday. All that remained was a comment from another Facebook user, which carried the original post.

In it, Olivier had posted a picture showing fireworks and what seemed like a frightened dog.

In the post filled with swear words, he uses a derogatory term to refer to Indian people and goes on to say that if the “NSPCA does not sort this sh*t out, I will with some serious sh*t”.

The DA has since released a statement condemning his outburst.

DA leader Zwakele Mncwango said the party was in the process of identifying the man to lay charges, either with the police or the commission.

He said the post was malicious and hateful.

“The antagonist uses derogatory names to describe people of Indian origin. The language used to denigrate Indian culture and religion is appalling," Mncwango said.

IFP leader in the provincial legislature, Blessed Gwala, said such attacks were due to a lack of social cohesion and undermined others’ beliefs.

Ashwin Trikamjee, president of the SA Hindu Maha Saba, said it was encouraging that the number of racists clinging to the past and displaying racist tendencies towards cultural celebrations was declining.

He said while some criticism about fireworks was warranted, most showed it was about racism rather than fireworks.

“We have advocated the controlled use of fireworks. We have limited the times for the use of the fireworks and we are against the use of big bangs. Some fireworks importers are still importing these and should be prosecuted for this,” he said.

Regesh Govender, the Greytown businessman and Olivier’s neighbour who was a victim of the racist rant, said he found the denigration of Diwali “insulting and offensive”.

“What was most offensive was him (Olivier) saying we are celebrating “c**lie vaalie” - the disrespect shown to us and our culture.”

The Mercury

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