Author in trouble over racial slur

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The Independent Online

An award-winning white South African novelist has sparked a race row by saying she does not like black people. Afrikaner writer Annelie Botes said in an interview that she feared black men because they were the "face of crime" in the country.

"In my daily life there's no one else that I feel threatened by except black people," she said. "If a courier comes to my door and he's white, coloured or Indian, I'd have no problem inviting him in for a glass of water. But I would feel threatened by a black man."

Ms Botes has been widely condemned for her remarks, which her publishers have distanced themselves from. However, she claims to have also received 1,000 emails of support for them and later refused to retract what she had said.

"I don't want to back pedal over my comments. It's the truth," she told a South African newspaper. "Maybe it's unfair to put all black people under one umbrella. Naturally, there are a lot of black people that I like very much. But I certainly meant what I said."

Earlier this month she won the the Afrikaans section of the 2010 K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary prize for Thula-thula, a novel that involves child abuse and incest with an age restriction of 18. It has sold 34,000 copies