Punishment of racists must fit the crime


Penny Sparrow, Vicki Momberg, Adam Catzavelos and now Belinda Magor all deserve to be shamed and punished harshly for their bigoted ways .

While Sparrow, Momberg and Catzavelos were convicted or pleaded guilty in court for their vile behaviour, it is clear that their punishment has not served as a deterrent to people like Magor.

Magor, who spewed bile on a WhatsApp, said black men are “worse than pit bulls” in response to growing calls for the dogs to be banned after incidents in which were children mauled by them.

Magor further called for the killing of black men and the removal of black women’s uteruses in an outburst that caused outrage and led to her arrest on Friday.

She is set to appear in court next year to face charges of crimen injuria.

While we welcome her arrest and shaming, her abhorrent behaviour and sanctions given to similar racists call into question whether the punishment fits the crime.

Her case must not end with another feigned apology to black people she despises so much that she would rather “get rid of them because they are the problem, not pit bulls”. It would be small comfort if her case was isolated but based on previous sanctions, perhaps it is time, we consider harsher punishment if we are to combat racism.

Not only will harsher punishment help alleviate the damage inflicted by such remarks, but it would also set a good example to show we will not tolerate such despicable behaviour from anyone.

Magor and her like-minded bigots’ attitudes threaten nation building and undermine our hardwon democracy that recognises and respects the rights of all South Africans.

Let’s be clear, racism is a learned behaviour whether it is from parents or a culture in which one is raised. In SA, of course, there are many still longing for the old apartheid years – which shouldn’t surprise us that racism still exists.

Change will come if perpetrato­rs of racism are not only caught, prosecuted and given a fine, but if they are also isolated from the rest of society. We have to make examples of the likes of Magor to show the rest what will happen to them when they behave in the same manner.

There must be no hiding place for racists in this country.

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