In multicultural societies such as ours it is of paramount importance that we should treat all fellow South Africans from other communities with respect and consideration. We should above all honour and acknowledge their right to human dignity and should avoid hurtful negative stereotypes.

The trouble with Ms Sparrow’s remarks is that they reinforce black stereotypes of whites as insensitive and supercilious racists. These stereotypes are also unfair and further erode relationships between our communities.

We should seek to understand and appreciate one another’s cultures and should treat everyone with the respect that we would like them to show to us.

Statements such as those of Ms Sparrow – whose damage has been compounded by her subsequent attempts to explain herself – cause enormous hurt and seriously strain relationships between our communities.

We call on Ms Sparrow to make an unqualified apology for her remarks and to acquaint herself with the values on which our new society has been established.

Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation