Johannesburg, May 28: A white South African has been slapped with a fine and asked to do 50 hours of community service for making racist remarks on Facebook about Hindus.
The South African Hindu Dharma Sabha has hailed it as “a major victory against people who attack Hindus on social media”.
Alexander MacGibbon was hauled to the Equality Court by the Sabha after he posted racist remarks on Facebook during Diwali celebrations in October 2016.
In his post, MacGibbon had referred to the fact that the first migrants from India arrived in South Africa as indentured labourers to work on the sugar-cane plantations.
Amid a huge outcry, MacGibbon deactivated his Facebook account, but not before his post had gone viral.
He was also suspended from his position as chairman of a local company.
MacGibbon struck a deal with the Sabha which was ratified in the Equality Court by chief magistrate Sakhisene Mzimele on Monday.
In terms of the settlement, MacGibbon has to apologise to the Hindu community within 10 days, pay a fine of Rand 20,000 to the Aryan Benevolent Home, an Indian-run welfare association for orphans and the aged in Durban, and serve 50 hours of community service at the Ramakrishna Centre, another social welfare institution in the city.
Sabha President Ram Maharaj said in his complaint to the Human Rights Commission that MacGibbon’s comments were “deeply demeaning and invasive of human dignity”.
The Commission, reacting to Maharaj’s call for serious action, initiated the Equality Court action against MacGibbon. (PTI)