September 20, 2018 / 8:53 AM / 3 months ago

South African man arrested for racist rant at Ramaphosa

(Note: This story contains offensive language)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African man was arrested and will be charged in court for posting a video on social media in which he hurled racial abuse at President Cyril Ramaphosa, police said on Thursday.

It was the latest such incident to cause a public outcry in South Africa and shows the racial tensions that endure more than two decades after the end of apartheid rule.

In the video on Twitter, a man identifies himself as Kessie Nair and says “(I) hereby call for that kaffir state president Mr Cyril Ramaphosa to be charged for frauding this nation, for oppressing this nation.”

Representatives for Nair could not be reached for comment.

The “K word”, as it is known in South Africa, is apartheid-era slang for a black person and is regarded as a deeply offensive slur on a par with the “N word” in the United States.

The man will appear at a magistrates court in Kwa-Zulu Natal province on charges of crimen injuria and inciting public violence after he was arrested on Wednesday, a poice spokesman said.

South Africa remains deeply scarred by its apartheid and colonial past.

Last month some Nike stores closed after a white South African man, said to have links to the U.S. sportswear company, posted a video taken at a beach resort saying: “And not one kaffir in sight. Fucking heaven on earth.”

In March, a court jailed a white woman to three years, with one year suspended, for yelling racist abuse at a black policeman.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg, Editing by James Macharia and Angus MacSwan

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