Spar employee in hot water after ‘gay rape’ hate speech

In the wake of widespread outrage against the recent spate of gender-based violence against women in South Africa, a Western Cape man will face consequences imposed by his employer, Spar, for a hate speech comment posted to his Facebook about raping gay men instead of women.

Francois Matthyse, from Darling, shared a post written in Afrikaans that reads: “Why rape women when there are so many moffies [f*ggots]”.

The callus remark also happens to coincide with the trial of three men who are accused of gang raping a young gay man in Ceres.

The social media post reached the eyes of the LGBT community who were outraged and Matthyse’s post was reported to the SA Human Rights Commission, as well as the Pink Loerie Foundation.

One of the outraged complainants saw on Facebook that Matthyse was employed at the Langebaan Spar as a fruit and veg assistant. He also lodged a complaint with the SAHRC and contacted the grocery store who initially told him that Spar could not do anything as the hate speech post was on Matthyse’s
personal page and that he had a right to express himself.

Another outraged individual said, “In the current climate of the #Me2 campaign and the public outcry over the intolerable levels of crime against woman and children he felt it was okay to rape gay men? This is not acceptable”.

MambaOnline reports that the Pink Loerie Foundation contacted Spar head office who said that “management were horrified” by the “regrettable and unacceptable” post by “an employee of an independently owned Spar store”.

“The owner of the store has been contacted and has advised us that appropriate action has been instituted against the employee concerned,” Kevin O’Brien, Group Risk and Sustainability Executive at the Spar Group Ltd, told the organisation in an email.

“Spar wishes to record its strong objection to comments of this nature and of any other comments which incite any form of discrimination including but not limited to racial, gender, religious, sexual preferences etc,” he said.

Customer Care Controller, Janeen Johnston added that the staff member “has been suspended and will shortly have a disciplinary hearing and counselling”.