The woman who was caught on video using the k-word to refer to a black woman. Picture: Twitter
The woman who was caught on video using the k-word to refer to a black woman. Picture: Twitter

Why do people still use such a repugnant word, asks SAHRC after k-word video surfaces

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published May 6, 2020

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Johannesburg - The South African Human Right Commission (SAHRC) has called on the black woman who was called a k****r by a white woman during an altercation following a bumper bash in Gauteng to open a case.
This comes after the white woman was caught on camera swearing at the woman, calling her a stupid b***h, a bastard, slapping her and calling her a k****r as she walked away.

It's not yet known when and where the incident happened, but it is believed to be somewhere in Gauteng.

In the video, the black woman – who is recording the incident after a car crash – shows the two damaged vehicles then turns the camera to the white woman who is also using her cellphone.

The white woman then asks the black woman if she has a "f*****g licence", swears at her, slaps her, then continues swearing her as she walks away calling her a "bastard b***h k****r". 

Spokesperson for the SAHRC, Buang Jones, said they were aware of the video but could not confirm if a complaint had been received.

"We are more than willing to offer legal assistance and it's up to her to say yes or no. As the SAHRC we have presence in all Equality Courts and we can offer assistance regarding discrimination and hate speech."

Jones said in the past five years, there has been an increase in racial discrimination cases despite all their effort to amplify awareness regarding the issue.

He said they have taken a number of cases to the Equality Court such as Adam Catzavelos and Angelo Agrizzi matters and they had wanted to use those cases to serve as a deterrent and also educate society about the need to live in a cohesive society.

However, they seemingly have not made any inroads, he said.

"People keep using this word and it's mainly informed by our past. There is historical context; the word was used to denigrate and demean black South Africans.

"It is the most hurtful utterance so it's something that baffles me as to why people still make such repugnant pronouncements.

"The use of the k-word is offensive in all sense and is also painful and violent. It's disparaging, derogatory, contemptuous and causes humiliation to black South Africans.

"It was meant to visit the worst kind of verbal abuse ever on another person," he said.

Jones said the word was dehumanising when employed by a white person against his or her own African compatriots and has always been used to degenerate black people. He said using was an embodiment of racial supremacy and all society must be aware of this and must condemn it.

"The utterances as we have seen in the video were deliberately inflicted and were wrongful and they impaired the dignity of the lady.

"This incident bears testimony to the fact that there are many bridges that still need to be crossed in our journey from crude racism to a new order where social cohesion in equality and effortless observance of right to dignity is a practical reality in SA.

"It also suggests that there has been very little attitudinal or mindset change since the dawn of our democracy, it calls upon us as the human rights commission and all society to work together because we all have a shared responsibility to find ways to end racial hatred and its manifestations.

"As a country, we have not yet realised the potential of the Equality Courts, they are still underutilised and there is lack of awareness of the existence of this court by the general public.

"We hope that through various media platforms and through the continued usage of these courts by the SAHRC more and more people will come forward and use these courts," Jones said.

Spokesperson for the Gauteng Police Colonel Kay Makhubele said they were not aware of the video and he was not aware if a case had been opened. 

The woman who was called the k-word can lay a formal complaint with the SAHRC on [email protected] or call 078 617 0476 for help.

The Star

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