A man who posted a racist rant on Facebook over Diwali celebrations told the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday that he intended to plead guilty.
Johannes David “Dawie” Kriel faces a charge of crimen injuria for posting to social media website Facebook: “To those idol worshippers and devil disciples who buy them in the name of religion, piss-off to your dark hole in the backwoods of India you dickhead!”
Prosecutor Roshiela Benimadho said: “The state has been informed that the accused intends pleading guilty in this matter.”
When asked by Magistrate Themba Sishi whether this was the case, Kriel confirmed that it was.
Sishi adjourned the case to January 17 for Kriel to formally plead.
Every year, fireworks celebrations in Durban become a major bone of contention between animal lovers and those who celebrate Diwali with fireworks.
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, which for believers spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
This year, KwaZulu-Natal has been beset by a number of incidents of racism.
At the start of the year retired estate agent Penny Sparrow found herself in hot water over comments she made on Facebook comparing black people to monkeys.
She was complaining about the numbers of black people at Scottburgh’s beaches.
Sparrow was found guilty of racism in the Equality Court and ordered to pay R150 000 to the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation.
Later she was also convicted of crimen injuria in the Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court.
In June, guest house owner Andre Slade found himself in trouble when he told a prospective client that his guest house did not accommodate government employees and black people.
Later, when an entourage of several hundred protesting African National Congress members arrived at his doorstep, Slade, who did not appear to comprehend the offence he was causing, made wild claims that black people were made by God to be servants.
“I am your king. I am the king on earth. You should call me Inkosi,” he said at the time.
“When Jan van Riebeeck arrived here as a white man he knew and he could see the difference between himself and others was huge,” said Slade, who added his actions were based on instructions from God.