Jo-Ann Strauss has spoken out about the threats she has received after posting a tweet in reaction to the Penny Sparrow racist post.
Like many celebrities, the TV personality added her views about the racist comments Penny made about black people who descended on Durban’s beaches for the festive season.
The KwaZulu-Natal resident referred to black people as "monkeys" in a Facebook post that went viral on Sunday.
Jo-Ann posted a tweet in response to the trending topic: “It's not what you call me, but what I answer to that counts." an African Proverb #PennySparrow."
But tweeps were furious that Jo-Ann suggested that they just ignore Penny’s racism.
“That's a cute and lofty way of looking at life, but we can't be subjected to racism and asked to not react,” one Twitter user commented.
Jo-Ann said in a statement on Tuesday that she was repulsed and hurt by the tweets calling for her to be beaten up and smeared with excrement.
“Tweets ranged from, ‘All you need is monkey to put a gun at the back of your ass lil madam (sic)’ to ‘Ubhula umlilo ngo paraffin … hamba uyofa (sic)’ to ‘SA has a place for racists, if that’s not the case then why are the likes of @chrishartZA @jo_annstrauss @pennysparrow still alive today,’” she recounted in the statement.
Jo-Ann says, as a person of colour, she faced racism during apartheid, and still does to this day.
“My way of processing racism has been to grow a thick skin against it, thus my response to the #PennySparrow Facebook post. I did not intend to...impose my approach on those who pursue a more active attitude and confront racism head on. My tweet was not intended to condone the very hurtful and racist comments or belittle the response that followed, as I oppose any discrimination based on skin colour.”
Image credit: Instagram/Jo-Ann Strauss