JOHANNESBURG – A South African man wearing an army shirt and holding riffle in hand is wanted by authorities for racism.
A photo of a white man knelled down in front of a native black boy showed up on Facebook. The small child lays face down, stretched out on the ground with the white man displaying a big grin on his face as if to indicate that he, the hunter, got his prey.
South African white man poses over black child, displaying a huge grin.
The disturbing photo was also circled around by several news media. Since the photo appeared, the man has gone to authorities and stated that he paid the child to pose with him.
The man also said he was stunned to see the photo because he alleges the image was taken in 2007.
The photo was discovered in the Facebook profile of Eugene Terrorblanche. The name is a play of letters of the last name of Eugene Terre’Blanche, a member of South Africa’s Herstigte Nasionale Party who founded the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (or AWB) during the apartheid era and who was brutally hacked to death on April 3 2010.
The photo was uploaded in Terrorblanche’s profile on June 24 2010. Thus far none of his 600 followers have responded or commented on the photo.
Police is investigating the real identity of Terrorblanche and have asked the public for assistance.
No one knows if the child in the photo is actually alive or not. “I don’t know to what extend the local police has investigated if the child in the photo is still alive,” said McIntosh Polela of the state police.
Polela states that the focus shouldn’t be as much on the racist aspect of the photo as it should be on the possible murder of a child.
Ray Hartley, a journalist for the The Sunday Times said “if the man on the photo is indeed telling the truth than it’s nice to know the child wasn’t hurt in any way”.
“That doesn’t take away from the fact that some sick individual posted the image on Facebook with the intend to stir up other racists.”
Paul Jacobson, a lawyer who specializes in internet and media says that posting such a racist photo is clearly against Facebook regulations. According to Jacobson, the police has the power to directly asked Facebook to help with unveiling the identity of the person hiding behind the Eugene Terrorblanche profile.
Director of the ‘Women + Men Against Child Abuse’ children’s rights organization Miranda Jordan said she was shocked by the photo.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” she said. “This is disgusting and distasteful.”
According to Jordan, anyone who posted a comment or responded to the image negatively, can be prosecuted and held responsible.
“Even those who live in South Africa and saw this photo and did not report it to their local police can be held responsible,” said Jordan.
Facebook has not commented on the photo.