A female motorist in the Western Cape was arrested on the weekend after allegedly calling a provincial traffic officer the K-word.
The provincial traffic chief, Kenny Africa told media that the officer will be lodging a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
SAHRC provincial commissioner Chris Nissen said he had encouraged the officer to lodge the complaint of crimen injuria as he does not understand why people continue to use racial slurs despite previous prominent cases.
Many complaints have been lodged to the Equality Court
Nissen said there have been many cases reported by both traffic and police officers regarding verbal abuse. Some chose not to pursue the issue while others have been referred to the Equality Court.
Race discussions are a sensitive topic and even after 25 years since apartheid ended, it still evokes emotion. Nissen said we still have a long way to go as a country, in dealing with racial matters and therefore require integration and social cohesion programmes.
He suggested that churches and mosques assist government in these matters.
The motorist also allegedly resisted arrest
The 34-year-old female also allegedly resisted arrest after the racial slur, when the officer pulled over two vehicles during a random road-block operation on the N2 near Somerset West on Saturday.
She was however arrested and held in custody over the weekend.
Transport MEC, Bonginkosi Madikizela condemned the incident and said that anyone who still uses the word must be criminally charged.
The woman appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Monday and her case was postponed to December 6 for further investigation.
Vicki Momberg is an example
Last year Vicki Momberg was arrested in Johannesburg and charged with four counts of crimen injuria after calling a black officer the K-word 48 times when came to her assistance following a smash-and-grab in 2016.
Momberg was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison with an additional year suspended.
Springbok rugby player Eben Etzebeth’s case is pending
Legal proceedings have been instituted against Eben Etzebeth by the commission in the Equality court following the allegations that he physically abused a Langebaan man during an altercation where he is also said to have used the H-word.
The rugby star is currently in Japan for the Rugby World Cup but has denied any wrongdoing.