I believe what I wrote about Ferial Haffajee - Miyeni

2011-08-01 22:52

Cape Town - "I believed what I wrote in the column," said former Sowetan columnist Eric Miyeni after his controversial piece about City Press editor Ferial Haffajee caused outrage on Monday.

"I didn't do it to get fired. I believed what I wrote in the column," Miyeni told eNews, adding, "I think she [Haffajee] is a fantastic human being personally speaking."

Miyeni went on to say the editors at Sowetan read the column before publication and that they had days to check it.

The Sowetan terminated Miyeni's column after removing the piece from their website, saying that he had "crossed the line between robust debate and the condonation of violence".

It made me cry

"It was horrendous to read the column. It made me cry. I can endure criticism about our journalism, but this is hate speech about me as a person," Haffajee told Beeld.

Max du Preez tweeted that the column was definitely hate speech.

"It is disgusting of the Sowetan to have published the column. I can't believe that the editor could have approved it."

Haffajee said that she took these comments quite seriously and said she would sue Miyeni in her personal capacity if needs be.

"I am quite shocked because he's someone I looked up to and admired..." 

South Africans aren't that stupid

Miyeni said in an interview Haffajee must be able "to take the punch".

"She is going to sue me. For what? We're no longer in the 80s. South Africans aren't that stupid. They won't necklace anyone."

In Miyeni’s column titled "Haffajee does it for white masters", he wrote that "in the 80s she'd [Haffajee] probably have had a burning tyre around her neck".

Miyeni defended this by saying he was using a metaphor.

"Who the devil is she anyway if not a black snake in the grass, deployed by white capital to sow discord among blacks?” Miyeni wrote in the column.

ANCYL backing

His column came in the wake of a number of stories published by City Press questioning ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's lifestyle and finances.

On Sunday the paper reported that he paid more than half the R3.6m purchase price for a Sandton house in cash.

Last week it reported Malema was using the Ratanang Family Trust to receive money from politicians, businessmen, mayors and others, allegedly in exchange for facilitating government contracts.

The league's officials have however denied this and said the trust was used to support charities.

The organisation has come out in support of Miyeni, and lashed out at the Sowetan.

"[The] ANCYL condemns the disgusting decision of the Sowetan of terminating Eric Miyeni's column for speaking his mind openly and frankly," the league tweeted on Monday night.

“We particularly applaud that Eric Miyeni says things as they are and exposes the ill-practices of the journalist he wrote about.”

Read more on:    sowetan  |  city press  |  ancyl  |  eric miyeni  |  ferial haffajee  |  johannesburg  |  media  |  hate speech  |  racism

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Nkandla: Zuma 'still looking for undue benefit'

President Jacob Zuma has told supporters at an election rally in Mpumalanga that he had not wrongfully benefited from the upgrade to his Nkandla home.


Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.