‘HOMELESS’ SPARROW PENALISED
Written by: Menelisi Ndwandwe
Penny Sparrow, refuelled the scourge of racism in January when she referred to black people as “monkeys” on her Facebook post.
The African National Congress (ANC) took her to court over her sentiments on the Facebook post.
ANC counsel, Advocate Denzil Potgieter told the Scottsburg Equality Court that there had been several attempts to get a hold of Sparrow, who had been in hiding for four and half months.
“We tried three times via the sheriff and there were adverts on national and provincial newspapers,” said Potgieter.
Sparrow was represented by her daughter, Charmaine Cowie, who did not listen to the whole judgement.
“She is very sick and much stressed. She is also fearful for her life,” explained Cowie when referring to why her mother did not appear in court.
She added that her mother is homeless, divorced, a pensioner and with no income.
“She can’t afford a legal team and she is scared of society,” continued Cowie.
Magistrate Irfaan Khalil, emphasised the issue of nation building and gave the historic background of the country.
“There was a notion that there is a race supremacy. Whites benefited through colonisation and the apartheid,” said Khalil.
He continued to say that there must be a clear distinction between freedom of expression and the right to dignity.
After looking at the precedents, Khalil ordered that the respondent pay R150 000 to Oliver and Adelaide Tambo’s Foundation. He also ordered that Sparrow pay the costs of the case.
ANC’s National Communications Manager, Khusela Sangoni said that they welcomed the judgement and it will teach many a lesson.
“The judgement, proves that the voiceless have the voice through the justice system in the country,” said Songoni.
“It is also a lesson to those that think racism has a place in this democratic country. The money will go to the foundation that preaches non-racism,” she concluded.
According to Democratic Alliance’s (DA) national office, its leadership will make a comment on Monday.
The matter will be handed over to National Prosecution Authority (NPA) for further considerations.