President Cyril Ramaphosa says racism has no place in South Africa and racists must expect harsh consequences in terms of the law.
The President commends the South African Police Service for opening dockets and launching investigations into a reported case of suspected racism at a Free State holiday resort on Christmas Day.
The complaint entails an alleged assault – widely accessible for viewing on social media platforms – on black teenage boys by white adults who appear to argue that the boys are not allowed in a swimming pool reserved for white users.
President Ramaphosa said: “Our Constitution means exactly what it says when it declares that South Africa – and that means all of South Africa – belongs to all who live in it.
“As black and white South Africans, we should be united in condemning all manifestations of racism and attempts to explain or defend such crimes. Racism is not a problem to be fought by black South Africans only.
“We must also be united in ridding our society of the violence we see in the videos of the incident at the Free State resort, whether such violence comes with racism or not.
“It is deplorable that adults dealing with teenagers resort to violence with such disturbing ease, hurting people physically and offending provisions in our Bill of Rights around security of the person, including the right to dignity and being free of violence.
“Under the rule of law, we must let investigations take their course but under the rule of law we can and must also declare that racism has no place in our society and racists have no place to hide.
“We must defend our continuing national mission of ridding our society of the divisions and the hurts of our past.”