The South African government have condemned the recent resurgence of racist posts on social media, particularly on Twitter and Facebook, which they say undermines the gains that the society has made towards nation-building and strengthening social cohesion
The Acting Director General of Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Donald Liphoko, said this malicious and offensive content erodes the values of the country's Constitution and incites social tensions in communities.
"Whilst government respects freedom of expression, it will not allow racism to disrupt the gains we have made as a country," the government said in a statement in response to the recent spate of racist utterances on social media.
"It is unfortunate that such comments follow hot on the heels of the country commemorating Human Rights Day.
"Government will actively pursue offenders through all available mechanisms, including confronting employers and will not allow incidents of racism to define us as a country. What we do in defence of our country today will define who we are as a country in the future. Those found guilty of racist utterances and acts must face the consequences of their actions," Liphoko said.
"To echo President Jacob Zuma, 'the ideology of racism remains firmly entrenched among some in our population, and it represents one of the most despicable human rights violations'," he said.
Victims of racism can seek recourse by opening a case at any local police station, or through the South African Human Rights Commission and the Equality Courts, said Liphoko.
The Department of Justice is finalizing the National Action Plan against Racism and Related Intolerances, which will strengthen the fight against racism and related intolerances, according to Liphoko.