Penny Sparrow of 'illiterate monkey' video fame dies of lung cancer

Penny Sparrow of 'illiterate monkey' video fame dies of lung cancer

Penny Sparrow has died after a battle with lung cancer, according to her daughter, Charmaine Cowie. Sparrow rose to infamy after a racist post went viral in 2016.

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Penny Sparrow, whose claim to fame was a racist viral video referring to black beach-going citizens as 'illiterate monkeys', has died.

Sparrow captured South Africa's attention with the video, which saw criminal charges laid against her, culminating in numerous court appearances.

She appeared before the Equality Court where she pleaded guilty in September 2016, saying:

“I realise what I did was wrong. It is difficult to put into words the regret that I feel. I will from now on strive to be a better citizen. Respecting others and working towards making our country a better place to live in.”

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Sparrow was ordered to pay a substantial R150 000 to the Oliver Adelaide Tambo Foundation, which refused to accept what they called 'racist money'.

Magistrate Vincent Hlatshwayo had been merciful after Sparrow had been unable to settle the full amount, ruling that she could pay the outstanding R4 000 over four months.

A Mid South Coast Mail interview with Sparrow revealed that she had been in hiding, claiming to be terrified and moving from place to place to avoid being located.

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