Matthew Theunissen is to undergo rigorous remedial action following a post he made on social media earlier this year in which he used the k-word in voicing his frustrations at Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s ban on certain sporting federations to bid for international events until transformation targets are reached.
This on the same day in which Penny Sparrow was ordered to pay R150 000 for calling black people monkeys.
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) announced yesterday that it held a conciliation meeting on June 7 to conclude its investigation into Theunissen.
“… Theunissen offered additional assurances and agreed to particular remedial conduct in response to his offence.
“These were recorded and memorialised in a settlement agreement,” the SAHRC said.
As part of the settlement, beyond the unconditional apology, the parties agreed that he embark on community service for a period of three to six months in a poor and disadvantaged area of the Cape Town Metropole in the area of the development of sports.
Theunissen will also conduct research on anti-racism, diversity, transformation and tolerance – specifically within the area of sport.
He will also undergo anger management therapy, which, at the date of this agreement, he had already undergone sessions with a registered and approved medical practitioner.
All the remedial action undertaken by Theunissen is voluntary, without remuneration and at his own cost.
Theunissen said on Facebook in the post in question: “So no more sporting events for South Africa. I’ve never been more proud that to say our government are a bunch of ******* … yes I said it so go **** yourselves you black ******* *****.”
The parties also agreed that Theunissen would no longer publish or communicate any further discriminatory or hurtful language and would refrain from engaging on any social network platform for 12 months while undergoing rehabilitation.
“The mediation of disputes in this manner must be understood as more consistent with the principles of restorative justice, than with punitive retributive justice sanctions, which can be meted out by the criminal justice system.
“The guardianship of human rights under such circumstances required an approach that sought to recognise wrong doing, promote understanding and embark on remedial conduct such that a settlement of this matter could be concluded,” said the SAHRC.