National Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa said he would not be surprised if the Democratic Alliance allowed former estate agent Penny Sparrow back into the party.
Mthethwa, who was speaking at a march against racism in the KwaZulu-Natal coastal resort of Scottburgh, said: “Just to save face they say they have fired her.”
It was racist comments made on Facebook by Sparrow a little more than a week ago, where she complained about blacks on the beaches and compared them to monkeys, that has led to a spate of accusations labelling the DA a racist party by its detractors.
This was the motivation for the march in Scottburgh that saw about 1000 people march through the town.
Mthethwa referred to a recent incident where Democratic Alliance MP Diane Kohler Barnard, was expelled from the party and then allowed to return after she reposted a Facebook comment that praised former apartheid president PW Botha.
“People like [Mmusi] Maimane are just flowers in front of racism. I would not be surprised if they reconcile with Sparrow,” he said, labelling the DA a party of racists.
The town, which is normally a hive of activity, was quiet with numerous businesses closed, including the estate agency where Sparrow worked until November last year.
There was a visible police presence as well as security guards and traffic police.
As the march progressed, residents emerged, some with cell phones, to take pictures of the event.
One little white girl, Gillian Webber, 10, drew the attention of the large media contingent as she stood at the side of road with a sign that read: “I hate racism.”
Her mother, Lisa Bagshaw, said: “She was horrified by what that woman said and was begging me to [allow her to join the] protest.”
Several carried banners and placards.
“#Sparrow must fall” and “South Africa belongs to all” as well as “#Tiny birds like Sparrow must fall” were some of the messages that were carried while others carried little South African flags.
Speaking to the media before the start of the march, ANCYL’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo said: “If we march past her (Penny Sparrow’s) house we are going to greet her. We are going to ask for bananas because we are good monkeys who helped this nation.”
They marched through the centre of the town to the Scottburgh Regional Court where Mthethwa then addressed them.
Several other speakers also addressed the crowd calling for an end to racism.
The ANCYL provincial deputy chairman then proceeded to the Scottburgh Police station adjacent to the courts to open a case of crimen injuria and inciting violence.
– African News Agency (ANA)