Penny Sparrow, a white estate agent, has raised the ire of South African social media with a Facebook post comparing black people to monkeys.
In her post, Sparrow claims that “these monkeys that are allowed to be released on New Years Eve[sic] and new years day[sic] on to public beaches towns etc obviously have no education what so ever [sic] and to allow them loose is inviting huge dirt and discomfort to others.”
“From now,” she adds, “I.[sic] Shall [sic] address the blacks of South Africa as monkeys as I see the cute little wild monkeys do the same pick drop and litter [sic]”.
You can read the post in full below:
With a little digging, it transpired that Sparrow was, until recently, an agent for real estate company Jawitz in Scottburgh — a small seaside town South of Durban.
In a statement released on Facebook, Jawitz Scottburgh disassociated itself with Sparrow, pointing out that she had not worked for the agency since November 2015.
The post was met with near universal scorn on Twitter, with some suggesting that Sparrow’s attitude is symptomatic of the industry as a whole:
Ongoing issue in the industry, with home loans too. Systematic racism that keeps black people out. https://t.co/vWVMZrFJ1T
— Verashni Pillay (@verashni) January 3, 2016
You know this #PennySparrow issue might be an insight to the whole real estate industry and why black people struggle getting accommodation
— Smangaliso (@Romano__N) January 3, 2016
Others took advantage of the fact that Sparrow’s number was available online and let her know exactly what they thought of her monkey comments:
— MariahCareyInSA2016 (@Jack_KnifedSA) January 3, 2016
— Anahita. (@NitzicaL) January 3, 2016
— Kwakhanya Ayanda N (@AyandaNkonzombi) January 3, 2016
— Angisab'thinti (@SnehGumede) January 3, 2016
— Sothondose Omhlophe (@SpHeMasuku_1) January 3, 2016
— Kenny Makenzi (@Kenny_Makenzi) January 3, 2016
There was also evidence that Sparrow’s post was not an isolated one-off:
— IG: ChelseaLodewyk (@ChelseaSL) January 3, 2016