South African police were sent spinning their wheels over a gruesome, racist photo that resurfaced on Facebook depicting a white hunter standing over a dead Black child. Turns out, the picture was a prank, but the fallout from the incident is no laughing matter.
Strangely enough, the photo is not new. In 2007, the same photo was posted on Facebook by a user named Eugene Terrorblanche and prompted a full police investigation. At the time of questioning, Terrorblanche told police that he staged the picture, and that the child was alive and posed for the photo.
Still, the reemergence of the disturbing photo has authorities asking more questions this time around.
"That picture speaks volumes and is a big worry. We have to understand what happened in the previous investigation,” Colonel McIntosh Polela, spokesman for South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, a special police unit, told South African newspaper The Times. "I got the impression that the man told the police that the child was alive. I don't know how far the police went to find out if the child was indeed alive. I will have to read the report.”
And while the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation will be busy investigating whether the police handled the issue correctly in 2007, the chief of police is preemptively trying to calm racial tensions in the rainbow nation.
"Whether the child was white or Black, the photograph is still a big concern because it depicts the murder of a child," said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's spokesman, Zweli Mnisi according to The Times.
Terrorblanche’s Facebook profile lists knifes, firearms and weapons as his interests and his activities include self-defense, close combat fighting, weapons training and shooting.
(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)