Last week’s event in Johanesburg was disheartening. Reading the racism remarks was and is still painful. Alochna Moodley, an Indian girl, who works in Midrand, Johannesburg, called two black passengers, Reverend Solumuzi Mabuza, Sibusiso Magubane and the Captain Menzi Mvelase by the k-word in an SMS on a flight from OR Tambo International to King Shaka Airport on Friday night. She was called out by Reverend Solomuzi, who was seated next to her and saw her typing the k-word on her phone expressing anger that someone on the flight was drunk while another person was “sniffing”. As YMCA, we condemn the act.
Alochna Moodley/ pic from online publication
The K word is an ethnic slur used to refer to a black person. In South Africa, the word was loosely used to refer to native South Africans. It was adopted as a derogatory term after 1948 when the Apartheid system was established. In 2000, the South African parliament also enacted the Promotion of Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, which has among its primary objectives the prevention of hate speech terms such as K word.
We comment Reverend Solomuzi for coming out to report the issue. It’s wrong to share racism remarks whether privately or publicly. Alochuna Moodley is a young girl, only 26 years old, with a future ahead of her. As Nelson Mandela said, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” As YMCA, we therefore believe that Ms Alochna was taught to hate and we as a people can make her learn to love again.
We also applaud the airline for standing with the people and removing Alochna from the plane. That was so deserving of her, you can’t have your cake and eat it. According to her, she did that because of frustrations. I wonder what the K word had to do with her frustrations. As a people we need to learn to respect others and always strive to do good whether someone is watching or not. If Reverend had not seen the SMS, Alochna would have continued to insult them.
Though there has been much progress, there is still much work to do. We must never stop fighting for what’s right. We cannot remain silent in the face of evil.