Home South African Durban woman apologises after racial slur video goes viral

Durban woman apologises after racial slur video goes viral

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The incident, captured on video, happened at the Tollgate Bridge intersection in the Berea area.

Durban –  A Durban woman embroiled in the latest racism row has publicly apologised to the Indian community after her racist remarks went viral on social media.

The incident, captured on video, happened at the Tollgate Bridge intersection in the Berea area.

In the video, the woman is seen exchanging words with another motorist who is filming her. Angered by the video recording, Cathie Geldenhuys made a number of insulting and racist comments, including calling the motorist a “c***** b******”.

The video has sparked strong reaction in the Indian community, with some calling for the woman to be arrested and charged.

Geldenhuys took to her Facebook page to apologise for her behaviour, describing it as “inexcusable”.

She said a man had tried to run her off the road and she panicked, and became emotional, terrified and upset.

“He confronted me and I behaved incredibly badly. I just want to apologise again. I used words I don’t normally use. I feel ashamed and really sorry, and I am also relieved to be alive,” Geldenhuys said.

Rivaaj Ramdas, a community activist who shared the video on Facebook, said the apology was not received well by the community. He said the comments were hurtful, offensive and were used to discriminate against Indians during the apartheid era.

He said the “C-word” had much the same meaning as the “K-word” – a derogatory term used to insult black people during apartheid.

“The apology is half-baked and I don’t think she realised the damage she caused. The apology was posted just because the video was trending, not because she is being sorry and sincere,” Ramdas said.

“We come from a painful history and can’t deal with people who continue to bring that pain up. More than 25 years into democracy, there is no place for racism and discrimination,” he said.

Steven Reitzer, managing director and owner of Reitzer Pharmaceuticals, a company Geldenhuys was associated with, distanced the firm from her, saying she was not employed by them.

He said Geldenhuys worked as a sub-agent for an agency company that represented them and other companies, but was not employed by them either. “She operates as a self-employed agent.”

Reitzer said the company that Geldenhuys was contracted to had advised them that her services had been suspended with immediate effect.

“It’s our policy that we do not tolerate racism or discrimination in any form whatsoever, whether from one of our employees, agents, customers or anyone associated with us.

“We are very sorry this happened and will continue to monitor and act against anyone who shows this behaviour,” he said.

The Mercury