Haffajee draws the line on black racism

2013-10-17 14:44

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Cape Town – City Press editor Ferial Haffajee became the focal point of a Twitter debate on Wednesday evening, after she posted a tweet condemning black racism.

Haffajee tweeted: “I don't tolerate white racists, so what makes black racists any different? Today, I drew a line in that sand. Two sides: one awful coin.”

A flurry of responses opposing the tweet streamed in.

Andile Mngxitama tweeted: “Ferial black on black cultural imperialism? Said is shaking his head.”

To which Haffajee replied: “he is and Biko is turning in his grave at the idiocy I've witnessed.”

Lindi Mahlasela said: “Blacks do not believe that they are superior to whites. Its the other way round! BLACKS CAN'T BE RACISTS thereof!!

Haffajee responded: “I'm not usually rude, but you caught me on a bad day: take your racism and jump in the Tugela!”

The Media Online reported on Thursday, that the tweet came after a City Press held a strategy meeting on transformation for the newspaper.

In a letter to the newsroom, reported on Media Online, Haffajee said it was during the meeting that issues of racism came to light. 

Haffajee reportedly said she objected to the racism displayed at the meeting and the attack on news editor Natasha Joseph and deputy editor Nicky Gules.

Media Online said after the meeting Haffejee took steps to put a stop to the racism.

Mail & Guardian said on Thursday that six to eight black journalists were allegedly suspended.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has reportedly condemned the alleged suspensions.

The EFF said in a media release that Haffejee had silenced the accused when she made an internal matter public, Mail & Guardian reported. 


In response to the momentum her tweet gained, Haffajee told News24: “Our virulent and destructive racism is often the only thing about us that is colour-blind.”

Haffajee denied reports that journalists were suspended.

“I was angry and had strong words with people, but I did not suspend anybody.”

She said a follow-up meeting has been planned.

“We will get somebody wise and skilful to take us to the point of a genuine mutual respect and Constitutionalism.  I saw real racism and cultural superiority, have seen for a bit, and I will not work under it or nor above it.”

Read more on:    city press  |  eff  |  mail & guardian  |  ferial haffajee  |  johannesburg  |  racism  |  media

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