JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Jessica Leandra dos Santos, a South African model who won the local FHM Models 2011 competition, is under fire over a Twitter post in which she uses racist language.
Dos Santos, 20, posted a tweet in which she describes a confrontation with a man inside a grocery store late Thursday:
“Just, well took on a on arrogant and disrespectful kaffir inside Spar. Should have punched him, should have,” she wrote, later deleting the tweet after receiving angry responses.
In South Africa, the "k-word" is a highly offensive racial slur that refers to a black person.
Dos Santos, who last year won the top models competition for men's magazine FHM South Africa, is also an ambassador for the Little Eden charity home, according to her website.
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Dos Santos posted an apology on her blog, in which she said she had tweeted out of anger.
"I tweeted rather irresponsibly about an incident I encountered last night, using a harsh and unkind word about the gentleman who had confronted me with sexual remarks and sounds," she wrote.
Dos Santos also posted on Twitter, in response to the backlash:
Would u all stop! These are the kinds of people that land up raping young girls of our country! I wasn't going to let him get away with it.— Jessica Leandra (@JessicaLeandra) May 3, 2012
Legal experts told South Africa's Independent Online last month that South Africans who are found making racist comments on social media such as Twitter and Facebook can be charged with crimen injuria or hate speech.
Mabine Seabe, a columnist, wrote on Twitter that he had filed a complaint with South Africa's Human Rights Commission.
I have lodged a complaint against Jessica Leandra with the Human Rights Commission on the basis of crimen injuria and libel. #DownWithRacism— Mabine Seabe II (@Mabine_Seabe) May 4, 2012
FHM South Africa, in response to the outrage, has distanced itself from dos Santos:
We're horrified that any1 would say such things! Those attitudes have no place in society or FHM!— FHM South Africa (@FHMSouthAfrica) May 4, 2012
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