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Since Matt Theunissen's on air apology for racist post he's written open letter

6 May 2016 5:49 PM

Since Matthew Theunissen's apology for racist remarks, he's written an open letter, but a former classmate says he is not suprised

After Matthew Theunissen's racist Facebook post blew up on social media, he came out with an apology. He was interviewed on the John Maytham Show (listen to the audio at the end of this article).

Thereafter Theunissen wrote an open letter to Minister Mbalula, the Human Rights Commission and the people of South Africa...

Read the full letter below:

Then, a former classmate wrote an article published in the Mail&Guardian, saying he wasn't really surprised.

Author and journalist Nick Mulgrew says Theunissen grew up in KZN, and attended a largely integrated small private school, Crawford North Coast, in Tongaat

He grew up spending most of his time in a co-educational environment in which there was a high degree of cultural and linguistic mixing

Nick Mulgrew, former classmate

Why then, asks Mulgrew, did Theunissen grow up with so little sensitivity to how a term like the k-word would impact on black people?

Maybe if our life orientation teacher, or our history teacher, or our headmaster properly opened up that conversation in our multiracial classroom – instead of surreptitiously avoiding it in the way adults tend to do – Matt wouldn’t have resorted to racism when criticising Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula about his policies.

Nick Mulgrew, former classmate

To read the entire article go to:

Soon blogger Brett “FISH” Anderson, known as brettFish weighed in...

If you get to the point of writing it down, that shows you’ve been thinking it. There is absolutely no way you will sit at a keyboard and write a statement like that which is completely unreflective of what you think and who you are simply because you were angry.

brettFish, blogger

brettFish wrote a Facebook status referring to himself as 'recovering racist'...

My name is brett “Fish” anderson and as much as it pains me to say it, i am a recovering racist. Busy with the process of UNLEARNing. How could i not be a racist when i grew up in a society bent on teaching me to be one? So grateful for all my friends of colour who have been helpful in the unlearning process and continue to show me grace and patience even as i stumble my way towards recovery.

brettFish appeals to white South Africans to do some serious self reflection on levels of often hidden racism.

He writes...

Stand with me in front of the mirror, white South Africa. Time is running out. Purge yourselves. And then maybe we can stand together against the Matt Theunissen’s and others who aren’t racist, but…

Knowing the truth, that when you utter the words, “I’m not racist, but…” it is usually a spotlight on to the very fact, that you are indeed a racist butt!

To read the whole article go to:

What happened earlier this week...

After the incident blew up on social media, talking to CapeTalk's John Maytham, Theunissen said he wrote the post out of anger towards the Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula. This, after the Minister's decision to ban South African sports associations from hosting major international events due to lack of transformation.

Theunissen told Maytham that he had also been angry at the fact that he hasn’t been able to get a job for a year because of 'the state of politics in South Africa'.

I reacted by deleting the post. Unfortunately it got to everyone. I really didn’t intend to say those words, I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Matthew Theunissen

Listen to the full conversation below:

I did type those words but I immediately regretted it. The language I used is extremely hurtful and inappropriate

Matthew Theunissen

Theunissen says the post doesn’t in any way reflect the kind of person he is.

You can ask any of my friends and colleagues and they will tell you that I am not racist at all

Matthew Theunissen

I didn’t refer to the whole country in that sense, but I did refer primarily to government

Matthew Theunissen

He says he apologises to everybody that he has affected and impacted with his Facebook post.

He also told John Maytham that he will not be running away from his mistakes, and he will contact the Human Rights Commission in order to deal with this matter accordingly.

Here are some of the reactions to Matthew's explanation for his racist comments:

6 May 2016 5:49 PM