M&G suspends intern for hate speech

2011-06-17 08:47

Johannesburg - The Mail & Guardian has suspended an intern for posting an anti-Semitic comment on social networking site Facebook, the weekly reported on its website.

Ngoako Matsha, who had been a trainee since February 2011, called "all Jews" racists, adding, "no wonder Hitler killed all the Jews", reported the Mail & Guardian Online on Thursday.

This was in response to a posting by Facebook user Benji Shulman, who asked people to suggest a "basic decent history of apartheid".

Matsha replied: "Petty apartheid is building tall walls to separate Israel from Palestines (sic)."

To which Shulman said: "Thanks for that piece of pseudo-politics but I need something that will stand up to logical argument."

Matsha then responded: "You racists! No wonder Hitler killed all the Jews, because you’re all a bunch of racists."

Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes was informed of the comment by a Twitter user.

He investigated and was informed that Matsha had confirmed that he made the statement.

Dawes said in an email to staff: "The remarks made on Facebook... are fundamentally at odds with the most fundamental values of the Mail & Guardian, the Constitution, and basic human decency.

"Justifying the Holocaust in this fashion is hate speech and is completely unacceptable in any forum."

The Mail & Guardian Online reported that Matsha was suspended pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

  • S Bouttell - 2011-06-17 09:21

    This issue becomes relevant to M & G when they are listed as an employer on the same facebook page. It is becoming more and more common in dismissals for facebook comments, because the employee does not realise that they are inadvertently including their employer in on their opinion. Again, just as you have freedom of speech, you need to excercise responsibility as to when and where you use it

      Frungy - 2011-06-18 04:44

      I agree that this is the determining factor. If you advertise your employer's name on your page and then proceed to make racist comments then naturally your employer has a right to fire you, it's like going into a bar wearing a "I work for XYZ" t-shirt and proceeding to make trouble. Of course the employer would have to prove you were the owner of the page, otherwise this would become a very easy way to get someone dismissed.

  • Democrat - 2011-06-17 09:22

    It is amazing how some blacks, and whites for that matter, just don't have the intelligence to engage in constructive dialog, but resort to racist comments and hate speech. With this in mind will there ever be racial harmony in South Africa?

      Jubby - 2011-06-17 09:41

      NO, never 1.) Remove the "Julius Malema's" from Government side.

      mike - 2011-06-17 11:42

      er - no

      Together - 2011-06-17 12:15

      Of course there will, and there already is - as long as this isn't the only place that you're interacting with other South Africans. There are millions of people getting along, and it's important to open up communication with each other so that the lunatic fringe on both sides don't get everyone believing they're telling the truth. Apparently they don't even know our history - let's keep on talking to each other.

      Sizwe - 2011-06-18 08:32

      Apparently not, there are too many institutions harbouring hatred NGK-SA, VF+, Afriforum, IFP etc...

      afrodeutsch - 2011-08-02 10:58

      Democrat/Jubby; extremists of this kind are in the minority. If that were not the case, we would have had an all-out war a long time ago. It seems these extremists are crawling out the woodwork as the likes of Malema & Terreblanche have popularised hate speech, and become some kind of warped "freedom fighters", when they are in fact just hate-mongering & disrupting a natural progression of harmony post-94.

  • Badballie - 2011-06-17 09:26

    Who gave companies the right to play God, the right to freedom of speech is an enshrined democratic right, no company irrespective of who it is has the right to censor any person acting in his personal capacity irrespective of the circumstances or whether any statement made can or could be classed as hate speech. This is just another form of control being exercised over the populace by the "haves' Companies who do this sort of thing should be boycotted on the grounds of their human rights violation.

      S Bouttell - 2011-06-17 09:34

      Erm - they pay your salary? And then, like a really smart chop, you go and include them in racist and defamatory statements. Then, they get to tell you to go bye bye. Simple enough terms for you to understand?

      jowza - 2011-06-17 09:57

      if you get paid a salary,are you not allowed to think?

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-06-17 10:17

      If you get paid a salary, you are expected NOT to put your company into disrepute. Futhermore, M&G is NOT cuirtrailing this person's freedom of speech, but their freedom to associate with whomever they please and if they do not want to associate themselves with this person, then it is their solem right to do so. Also, this person has the freedom of speech, YES, but everyone around them has the freedom to respond to his speech in any way they feel appropriate, short of breaking the law in any way. Freedom of speech does NOT mean you can incite racial hatred and so on and expect to get away with it. malema only gets away with it because he's buddy-buddy with the goverment.

      S Bouttell - 2011-06-17 10:20

      Sigh. Of course you are allowed to think, and of course you allowed the civil libery of "freedom of speech". Just don't list your employers details on your face book page. How is it, that a vast majority of the pepole in the world are simply not capable of taking responsibility for their actions. He did a dumb thing, he will be nailed for it.

      S Bouttell - 2011-06-17 10:20


      roboman1 - 2011-06-17 10:52

      The right to employ and train people is a blessing abused by this trainee. Why blame M & G for not wanting to keep training such a bigot, who in turn does not seem journalistically gifted if I read these few extracts. No, if you don't like your employers rules go somewhere else, your employer also has rights.

      Superdude - 2011-06-17 11:10

      The interns comments were pretty uninformed and provide a pretty good insight into his/her mindset...would you emply someone who is so uninformed? Not on your nelly!

      Naartjie Nooi - 2011-06-17 11:53

      Freedom of speech does not include hate speech. It irritates the crap out of me that people like you have NO idea what freedom of speech is about. He deserved to be fired.

      DeonL - 2011-06-17 13:09

      It would be interesting to know if this person wrote it during working hours or not. It is fine to think anything, but not fine to write everything down what you think.

  • Ian - 2011-06-17 09:32

    typical malema way of thinking, when faced with a question you cant answer ' eish u ressist' LMFAO

      Liberal Girl - 2011-06-17 12:20

      SO true Ian or the one that really makes my blood boil is- Youre a communist!! WTF?

  • matthewj1268 - 2011-06-17 09:39

    Stalin was not a Jew. and Neither Lenin or Marx are responsible for killing people in any form or genocide. Jews are a race and a religion you ignorant fools there are Christian Jews. All forms of racist hate speech are illegal in SA and rightfully so. Racism is a sickness that needs to be purged from South Africans.

      Citizen - 2011-06-17 11:06

      Christian Jews?? Never heard that one before. I don't know a lot of Russian history but the Russians were no angels. They executed hundreds of Polish officers during WWII. There was also a crack down on the practice of Christianity in Lithuania. A lot of people were killed at the hands of the Russians

      Naartjie Nooi - 2011-06-17 11:55

      Christian Jews? I don't think so. :)

      Bonkers - 2011-06-17 12:44

      Christian Jews? Look up "Oxymoron" in the Dictionary. I will accept that there may be Christian Israelis, but not Christian Jews.

      DeonL - 2011-06-17 13:15

      The first Christians in the world were Jews, the disciples. It sounds strange but Jesus disciples were Christian Jews.

      Sizwe - 2011-06-18 08:40

      @Citizen. I do not know what you are implying but citing the Lithuania incident but some Russians are Christian i.e. The Russian Orthodox Church, like most ancient era Orthodox churches its purely christian.

  • DeonL - 2011-06-17 09:40

    Well done M & G. I wish the ANC could do this also to some people that preaches hatred and racism.

      Neo - 2011-06-17 11:05

      Like Zapiro for example ... some people get away with it, some don't. You either land up in one of two boxes, hatred/racist or freedom of speech ...depends who you offending!!!

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-06-17 12:28

      What Zapiro does is not hatred and racisim, it's Satirical political cartoonist. There is a difference, namely that the CONSTITUTIONAL COURT has already ruled that his drawings do not constitute Hate speech.

      DeonL - 2011-06-17 13:12

      I was thinking of Malema.

      Neo - 2011-06-17 14:34

      @Martin. So you have placed him in that box? What I am saying is that people should take everything/consequences into consideration ie. race, religion, colour, creed etc. before trying to push the line. With freedom comes responsibility!

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-06-17 15:44

      And what racial hatred and voilence has Zapiro incited, exactly? Has he forwarded the view that hitler was right? Has he called for all whites to be branded as criminals. No, he draws what he sees. What he draws might shock, but the truth shocks just as much.

  • Tommy Geyer - 2011-06-17 09:41

    Not even DR Phil will be able to help this dude!

  • Bill - 2011-06-17 10:00

    Freedom of speech at it's best, in a socialist society!

  • janine.spamers - 2011-06-17 10:04

    I agree with S Bouttell.

  • Mainecoon8 - 2011-06-17 10:08

    Joe Slovo - ANC/SACP freedoM fighter Jewish Ronnie Kasrils - ANC Freedom Fighter John Kane Berman - SAIRR Jewish Helen Joseph - Liberal Party Jewish Helen Suzman - PP anti apartheid Jewish Helen Zille - parents Jewish - DA and Black Sash Jewish and on and on and on Mandelas first law job was with a Jewish firm (who were willing to give him a job) Kentridge - anti apartheid legal council - Jewish and on and on yet this arsewipe - a trainee journalist nogal has the utter temerity to even suggest that a generalist accusation of racism and genocide is a valid stance? His government and some of the dubious members of it are the real racists, populists and demagogues...precisely the sort of qualities that gave rise to a Hitler.

      jowza - 2011-06-17 10:21

      you forgot to mention,how many of the above denounced israel for their policies. its alright to criticize anyone aslong its not jewish or gay.thats the message we getting

      allnet - 2011-06-17 12:40

      You forgot to mention even rabbies in Israel who go against Israeli policies get eliminated. They liberal approach only suits them in places whey they profit!

  • Lorax - 2011-06-17 10:24

    Bye-bye Matsha. You blew your chance at a meaningful career... no doubt you'll find someone of another colour or persuasion to blame for your unbelievably idiotic failings. Go and write sub-standard press releases for Malema or Manyi.

      Lady P - 2011-06-17 14:22

      As a personal friend of Ngoako, i stand firm behind him. it was an error of judgement, he has learned his lesson and has apologised to the Nation for his Comment on Facebook.

  • Blackpride - 2011-06-17 10:27

    Oh Ngoako, such things need to be said anonymously only, else there's repercussions, sorry man, better luck next time.

      davethechurch - 2011-06-17 11:07

      they should not be said at all!!

      Blackpride - 2011-06-17 11:21

      Not according to freedom of speech. Half the comments on News 24 are always racist anyway, seemingly, without demeaning other races, south africans have very little to say.

  • Victoria - 2011-06-17 10:45

    Good for Mail and Guardian!!!

  • bev18 - 2011-06-17 10:58

    Good for Mail and Guardian.

      Blackpride - 2011-06-17 11:29

      How about coming up with your own comment instead of whats been said already

  • observer - 2011-06-17 11:01

    With freedom comes responsibility - a lesson yet to be learned in South Africa. Freedom of speech does not include the freedom to say absolutely anything about anybody. It allows you to express an educated opinion, not engage in racist hate speech and vitriole.

  • alex madikizela - 2011-06-17 12:26

    This does not provide context of the discussion prior to his response. To me, it is more of the

  • alex madikizela - 2011-06-17 12:32

    How could a crime against humanity ever have some decency. How is the M&G not seeing his qustion of "basic decent history of apartheid" an affront to black people. or is it because racist utterance by 'white, priviledged individuals' constitute a perspective or a dimensional view but the same rubbish from a black person becomes a dismissive offense! wonder why Jewish suffering weighs more than Black suffering!

      Observer - 2011-06-17 12:37

      I think "decent" in this case is referring to the overall standard of history being presented. Not sure how you're reading it, but I'm pretty sure the person wasn't asking for a good/fun/exciting history of apartheid, nor one which didn't address the wrongs of apartheid.

  • Ivan Ayliffe - 2011-06-17 12:39

  • Flixer - 2011-06-19 12:35


      phola nsikaz - 2011-08-02 08:29

      ja nee

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