WALVIS BAY - The Walvis Bay-based Hillside Christian College has fired a grade 2 teacher assistant for racial remarks made on social media early last week, saying racism has no place at the school.
“The principality of racism has, through the ages, brought division, hatred and resulted in discrimination and separatism. We must realise what needs to happen. The giant of racism must fall,” the school said in a statement.
“We hate the racist remarks. We all know that our actions have consequences. Hence, we dismissed her with immediate effect from the school.”
Corien Steenkamp made racist comments following the murder of Zimbabwean woodcarver Hlaisanani Zhou, who died after he was allegedly assaulted by at least five men at Otjiwarongo on 5 June.
Steenkamp posted that all the land belonged to South African boers, simultaneously displaying the old apartheid-era flag. She also questioned whether the media would have reported on the murder if it was the other way around.
At one stage, Steenkamp posted that civilisation is not made for blacks and that the Bible was also not written for blacks. Steenkamp is also being dragged to court after she was charged under the provisions of the Racial Discrimination Prohibition Amendment Act.
Steenkamp apologised on Friday for her remarks, saying that she acted out of anger and response to racial comments that were personally directed to her.
“I would like to apologise to everyone for the comments I made on social media. I ask that you forgive me, as I acted out of anger and responded to racial comments that were directed at me,” Steenkamp said.
“It is sad that I am now the only one being victimised. My comments were not meant to be racist, but I know what I said was hate speech. My family, friends and school were not involved, and I take full responsibility for my actions. I am truly sorry.”
Steenkamp added her family is being harassed, with her daughter receiving text messages from people that wanted to know where she lives. “I fear for the safety of my family and friends. They did not do anything and should not be held accountable for what I have done. It wasn’t right of me to post those comments. I apologise to the school.”