Models deny remorse is a publicity stunt

2012-05-10 14:55

Johannesburg - Two young women who went to war with racist tweets apologised on Thursday and said they wanted to reconcile the country.

"I am aware of the issues I caused for our nation, I am aware of the severity of the word I used," model Jessica Leandra dos Santos said in Johannesburg after she met marketing student Tshidi Thamana.

"I do extend my sincere apologies for the incidents I caused ... I think Tshidi and I will both work on getting the country back to where it was a week ago."

Democratic Alliance national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane arranged a meeting with the two women at his home in Roodepoort. The two shook hands and posed for pictures.

'My apologies'

"I don't wish death on anyone of any race of sorts (sic)... I just want to say to Jessica, I am really sorry about wishing death on you and for everything that I've said," Thamana said.

"To South Africa as a whole, my apologies. I really didn't mean any harm and if we have to do something to put the country where it was, we will do it."

Dos Santos, who started the spat with a racist tweet, said: "I didn't realise the impact my tweet would have had on the people [it] offended. We do aim to reconcile and get the nation back to where it was."

On 3 May, Dos Santos told her 2591 followers: "Just, well took on an arrogant and disrespectful kaffir inside Spar. Should have punched him, should have [sic]."

She now has 7 263 followers.

Dos Santos, who was men's magazine FHM model of the year in 2011, deleted the controversial tweet and posted an apology on her blog jessicaleandra.com

In response to this on 7 May, Thamana tweeted: "Dear Mr Peter Mokaba, I wish all whites had been killed when you sang 'Kill the Boer', then we wouldn't have to experience @JessicaLeandra's racism."

"We don't have problems with each other, we don't have problems with any race... We just happened to be individuals that got very upset and very carried away in a tweet on social media and I think we are owning up to it today," Thamana said.

Dos Santos turned to Thamana and said: "Tshidi, I do apologise if the word I used offended you. It wasn't intended to cover the entire black race, but rather at a certain individual that offended me in public."

Maimane said: "It's been a journey for both Jess and for Tshidi ... I felt we needed to give each of these girls an opportunity to communicate to each other and certainly to communicate to you [the public] out there."

He said the meeting was not a publicity stunt, but that he wanted to change the country's narrative.

"We are here to apologise, not to pull a publicity stunt. In both our individual lives we don't practise any racism," Thamana said.

Could be friends

The women, who had not met until Thursday, said they could be friends, were not racists, and had not used such language in their tweets before.

"I can quite easily say that I've never used that word. It boiled [up] from a stress frustration and as I've learned, it's an incorrect and unfortunate word that I've used. Today I've learned the severity behind it," said Dos Santos.

Thamana chirped in: "That tweet was tweeted out of anger and when I was doing it, it felt right but it was wrong."

When asked about previous tweets in her timeline referring to "African monkeys", Dos Santos replied: "I refer to myself as a monkey, my family as monkeys. I think what was written in my Tweets as 'African monkey' was taken out of context."

The SA Human Rights Commission said on its website that racist and discriminatory speech on social media could undermine social relations.

"Ms dos Santos' alleged remarks contribute to a disturbing pattern that seems to be taking place in the social media space, and has to be addressed.

"The commission is in the process of assessing all the complaints it has received and will afterwards communicate directly with all the parties."

Maimane said he would write a letter to the commission containing evidence about the matter. Several people submitted complaints about the two women to the commission.

Comments

  • Stephen - 2012-05-10 15:09

    Who hasn't come out with something stupid every now and again, and regretted it? (Or in my case 100 times a day) Give these ladies a break.

      Philimsomi - 2012-05-10 15:26

      Stephen nchoooo... you very kind:-

      Preshen - 2012-05-10 16:28

      She meant to say cafe latte but K*** came out

      Bear - 2012-05-10 17:01

      Preshen, i lold :D

      Squeegee - 2012-05-10 17:47

      Were the media invited? Then its a publicity stunt!

      Gieljam - 2012-05-13 08:33

      Jessica and if you were what about it , no one is a racist when born and as the life experiences evolve you change your thinking especially when you or those close to you are degraded , abused ,robbed, murdered, assaulted,marginalized ad infinito..

  • Gareth - 2012-05-10 15:09

    As glad as I am that they are ending this nonsense, I don't buy it. You don't call someone a ka***r or wish death on an entire race if you don't have a problem with them.

      Tankiso Mogoje - 2012-05-10 15:32

      Well said Gareth,but for the sake of reconciliation let's give them a chance because they are just kids and they must know that we are watching them

      Gareth - 2012-05-10 15:34

      You're right, but I'll move one anyway because I'm not the kind of person who'll take something like that personally

      Joyleen Motsoane - 2012-05-10 15:42

      Have to agree with you, I also don't buy their silly apology and fake remorse... Them blaming this on anger just means that all the 'anger' did, was reveal what was already there in the first place, well hidden under fake smiles..

  • Peter - 2012-05-10 15:12

    I firmly believe this entire episode was a publicity stunt. For FHM, Dos Santos, Thamana, Maimane, News 24 .... all of them. Prove me wrong and I'll also apologise. Why are these 2 women still out of jail? Surely hate-speech is a crime? Inciting racial violence is also a crime, isn't it? Genocide? Crime? Maybe? Bollocks to all of you!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-05-10 15:30

      Ag please, grow up... Jussus.

      Peter - 2012-05-10 15:43

      Seriously @PointBlank? Seriously? One airhead shouts at another airhead and suddenly a political party gets involved? Tell you what --- You go stand on the corner of two very busy streets in JHB and shout racial slurrs at each and every black person passing you --- lets see how long you stay out of jail.

      rayno.grever - 2012-05-10 16:15

      Peter why are you so opposed to reconciliation? Whether this was a PR stunt or not it was the right thing to do. I would not send them to jail. Malema avoided jail after uttering endless racial slurs, why can't they?

      Peter - 2012-05-10 16:20

      @rayno.grever ... you miss the point. The article is about whether this was/is a PR stunt or not? Not about reconciliation per se. And about Malema ... I agree that he should have been in jail LONG ago.

      rayno.grever - 2012-05-10 16:36

      Okey dokey Peter

      matthew.swanepoel.9 - 2012-05-11 08:53

      I absolutely believe it was a publicity stunt, the ramblings of bored models, nothing else.

  • Stephen - 2012-05-10 15:13

    I think it would have come over a bit more sincerely, if they were wearing swim suits. White for the black chick, black for the white chick, 2 sizes too small.

  • adrian.marais - 2012-05-10 15:23

    PR at it's best!

  • matthews.sekwakwa - 2012-05-10 15:28

    Almost 20 years into democracy and we still use the \K\ word and wishing death to other race/s! Please grow-up u know that ur careers are sinking and u apologies! Please!!!

  • Chris - 2012-05-10 15:29

    @Stephen, locking your keys in your car is stupid. Calling someone the K word or wishing a whole race had been wiped out deserves a bit more attention.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-05-10 15:31

      It got the attention now move on...

      Stephen - 2012-05-10 16:23

      I agree Chris, but now they have appologised, lets get on with it, We have all come out with crap like this in anger, problem is now with twitter, facebook, news24, it takes on a different character, and the whole word reads it, and you cant delete it. don't know if mankind is ready for that kind of scrutiny yet. One wrong word and your life is ruined?

      Gungets - 2012-05-10 18:21

      The situation might need attention but these two tiresome clothes-horses do not. They are both as thick as short planks - Andy Warhol described this - every person, ever dof stukkies who wear (or not) clothees for a living - gets 15 minutes of fame. Time up, now !#$% off and do something useful, with your mouths shut (or not) and your phones turned off.

  • Lee - 2012-05-10 15:35

    Do these girls really think that they have broken a nation? Do they really think theyare THAT important? Yikes. If 2 girls can do this, imagine what real role models and real ambassadors of SA could do!

  • ngonimclean - 2012-05-10 15:43

    News24 is fuelling this race war with their split up racist model aricles every hour, next they'll report these girls are sharing tampons as friends and we the readers flock to the comments section to comment

  • Ina - 2012-05-10 15:45

    News 24 haven't you got anything more newsworthy and less boring to report on? Give over already!

  • Egsaan - 2012-05-10 15:52

    Excuse you...WHO are these two clowns...? Why still give them any media attention. They can join malema

  • Ntshekisang - 2012-05-10 15:59

    Let them do public works for 3months

  • macksonm - 2012-05-10 16:10

    The two girls meant everything they said,they are only apologizing because there was outrage because of their statements,Its all in their hearts,They both need to be punished so they will know that no matter how angry you get,you dont have a right to say what they said,I dont their apology.We don't expect kids their age to be saying what they said since non of them didn't experience the apartheid thing.

  • songezo.kilani - 2012-05-10 16:14

    \we will work together to put da country to where it was a week ago\, where was it? As far as i'm concerned it ws a mess already, both of you whr used as scape goats which you brought on urselves. Apology accepted nw lts move on.

  • Carry - 2012-05-10 17:07

    WE ALL SAY THINGS WE SHOULDN'T FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT YOU SHOULD USE A BIT OF SAVVY BEFORE POSTING SUCH RUBBISH. THEY SHOULD BOTH BE TAKEN TO TASK FOR THEIR ACTIONS. LOOK HOW MUCH OTHER CRAP HAS COME OUT OF THEIR STUPID ACTIONS. WE REALLY DON'T NEED THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOUR IN S.A.

  • yummyhamster - 2012-05-10 17:21

    wishing that all whites where dead ? i say bring it on .. i am tired of their racist remarks that gets forgotten and forgiven the moment they say "eish i am sorry , i did not mean it. i love whites" we know she meant it and i vote that she should NOT be allowed to get her degree or diploma for what ever she is studying. BOOT HER out. oh wait that wont happen because she has the right skin color...... we need to stand up for what is right or they will end up killing all the whites.. it is clear what non whites want regarding to us being alive in the near future!!!!

  • sipho.mhlanga - 2012-05-10 19:36

    But some expects say she might need to look at her deeper “racist knee-jerk reaction.”

  • Murph - 2012-05-10 20:11

    South Africa - The only place on earth where the penalty for crime is a 'terminal' illness and a breakfast can 'cure' you of racism.

  • Johan - 2012-05-11 07:59

    I our lives we create situations that eventually give us the opportunity to make the right choices and could probably determine the course of the rest of our lives. Lets hope that this is such an opportunity for them. God Blesses..................... Always

  • Francisco - 2012-05-17 23:32

    "...and said they wanted to reconcile the country." Talk about an ego, seriously. Do you think you have the ability to reconcile a country? These two models are the flavour of the week, no one knew who they were before this and in a weeks time everybody would have forgotten their names, they will merely be referred to as "Those racist models"

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