NEWS: The Durban woman who was caught on video using derogatory terms towards a fellow Durban driver has apologized for her racist rant. Her apology comes after the video went viral on social media and whatsapp groups. The incident reportedly happened a week before the 21-day lockdown in South Africa.
Cathie Geldenhuys was identified by social media users as the woman who used derogatory racist terms against a South African Indian man describing him as a ‘coolie bastard.’ She uttered the word four times as she attempted to drive off after the confrontation. According to the video, Geldenhuys was accused of using her mobile phone while driving. In her apology last night, she alluded to the idea that she was driven off the road and nearly lost her life as part of her apology.
Her post on her now deleted Facebook profile read,
I would like to publicly apologize for my inexcusable behavior. A man tried to run me off the road just over a week ago, and I panicked and in my emotional state, I was terrified and upset. He confronted me and I behaved incredible badly. I just want to apologize again, because in my attempt to vent my anger at him, I used words I don’t normally use. I feel ashamed and really sorry, and I am also relieved to be alive.Cathie Geldenhuys on Facebook
The video which has gone viral on social media and whatsapp, has the enraged South African Indian community calling for Geldenhuys to be treated with the same rule of law that has been applied to the late Penny Sparrow and Vicki Momberg.
Soon after her message was posted on social media Geldenhuys removed her Facebook profile.
Geldenhuys suspended by employer
Netizens were quick to identify Geldenhuys and went further by reaching out to companies that she represents as a pharmaceutical sales representative in the Durban area. In a message allegedly from Reitzer Pharmaceuticals, the company clarified that Geldenhuys is not employed by them nor by Reitzer Healthcare.
In the case of Adam Catzavelos and his racist rant, the impact of his utterances drove his family-owned business to buckle under pressure from the public. Catzavelos was fined R50 000 or two years’ imprisonment, both wholly suspended for five years, for using the k-word in a video while on holiday in Greece with his family. Like in the case of Catzavelos, social media users have called for a boycott against pharmaceutical companies that are associated with Geldenhuys following her racist rant. Some South African Indian medical professional are also planning to boycott brands that Geldenhuys has represented in her capacity as a pharmaceutical sales agent.
In this Facebook messenger message Reitzer Healthcare has rejected claims that Geldenhuys is in their employment. The message shared on social media explains the relationship shared with Geldenhuys.
Good evening, she is not employed by Reitzer Pharmaceuticals nor for Reitzer Healthcare but is a subagent for a company that does agency repping for numerous companies, including ours. She is self employed. We have been advised by them that they have suspended her services with immediate effect.
According to unverified reports, it is understood that a case has been opened. We are awaiting a response from the South African Police Service to respond to queries in relation to this matter.
Cathie Geldenhuys’ apology has been rejected by social media users have a look here at the reactions to her Facebook post. Indian Spice attempted to reach out to Geldenhuys however she – and her family – did not respond to queries.