Members of the Chinese community picketing outside the South Gauteng South High Court. In the front and on a wheelchair is 106-year-old Ng Sui Chee Pon.

Johannesburg - A woman who called Chinese South Africans "despicable savages" suffered a setback when her application to be excused from the Equality Court hearing was dismissed with costs.

Tracy Terink, who had confessed to having posted the abusive language online, filed an application in October 2018 that she be excused from partaking in the hearing and asking that the hate speech confession is accepted so she does not have to go through the case.

This follows a January 2017 Carte Blanche episode, which exposed the brutal killing of donkeys for their skins to be exported for the Chinese medicinal market.

Following that report, a torrent of alleged hate speech comments were posted on the programme's Facebook page, as well as that of the Mario Donkey Sanctuary, which was deemed abusive by The Chinese Association.

"The Chinese are despicable savages; can't even call them people. And the disgusting savages murdering these animals for money all deserve to die the painful death they inflict on these animals," was the comment Terink confessed to having written in January 2017.

Terink asked the court, through her legal representative, to receive a judgment based on her sworn affidavit and that she not be lumped with the other respondents.

However, Judge Motsamai Makume would have none of it, saying that section 21 of the Equality Act stated that the court should hold an inquiry where evidence is heard before making a decision on guilt or innocence.

"There is no way a confession is elevated to the level of an inquiry," Judge Makume said, dismissing the application and ordering Terink to pay the costs thereof. 

The courtroom was packed with dozens of members from the Chinese community, including 106-year-old Ng Sui Chee Pon, who was in a wheelchair. The old woman sat through the proceedings, listening intently throughout.

The respondents were also in the courtroom and looked on stoically as arguments were being heard. The hearing continues.