Cape Town – Social media was abuzz after Riaan Lucas, apparently from Johannesburg, posted the meme soon after the announcement of the former Springbok rugby player’s death on Monday.
Lucas wrote: “Joost is vrek” (Joost is dead) with the meme that reads, “Me when I hear a white man has died. RIP Joost” on a picture of actor Tobey Maguire pulling a face.
Lucas has closed his Facebook account, but his profile showed that he had been a sales manager at the South African Wine Institute, Netwerk24reported.
According to his profile, he is originally from Cape Town and studied at the Cape Wine Academy.
The academy confirmed on Facebook on Tuesday that Lucas had studied there in 2011 and distanced itself from his comments.
The Institute of Cape Wine Masters also said on Facebook on Tuesday that they have no relationship with Lucas and that he no longer worked at the institute.
The wine marketing firm Taste of Terroir confirmed that Lucas last worked for them in 2014.
“My staff and I are shocked by his racist comment and distance ourselves from it,” owner Anton du Toit posted on Facebook.
Trade union Solidarity has laid a charge against Lucas with the Human Rights Commission.
According to Solidarity, Lucas’s Facebook profile was closed “due to the South African community”.
“Everyone reported it and collected the evidence,” reads a statement from the trade union.
Solidarity’s communications manager Juran van den Heever said it was a great shock to South Africans of all races to see something like that on such a sad day.
“This racist commentary should get the same attention as any other comments made in the past that the Human Rights Commission acted against.”