Miyeni considering suing over sacking

2011-08-02 15:36

Johannesburg – Columnist Eric Miyeni is considering taking legal action against his former bosses for sacking him over a column in which he called City Press editor Ferial Haffajee "an agent for white capitalists".

"I am shocked. I haven't slept all night," he said on Tuesday, reacting to being fired.

He criticised his former employers at the Sowetan, owned by Avusa Limited, for "not doing their editorial function and then firing journalists afterward".

In April 2008 former Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya allowed a column by David Bullard into the paper and then apologised for the ensuing outcry over its racist content. Makhanya was promoted, Miyeni said.

Bullard was fired.

In February this year the Sunday World published a piece on coloured people, entitled "Jou Ma Se Kinders" by Kuli Roberts. Roberts was also fired.


"Where is the accountability? You don't do your job at Avusa [and then], when things go wrong you fire the journalist and then get promoted," he said.

Makhanya could not immediately be reached for comment.

In his column Miyeni described Haffajee as a "black snake in the grass deployed by white capital to sow discord among blacks".

City Press last week reported about ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's trust, which he allegedly uses to bankroll his lavish lifestyle.

The report resulted in a criminal complaint laid against Malema. The Hawks were still
deciding whether to bring corruption charges against him.

Haffajee said she was seeking legal advice and planned to sue Miyeni.

Praised by many

Miyeni said "to be fair", his column was praised by many.

"Not everybody criticised it... let me explain. I said to her [Haffajee] in an interview on the radio that if I got my salary from a white company, I would imagine that that company is my master.

"She works for City Press, owned by Naspers, which is largely white."

In the column, Miyeni also wrote: "in the 80s she'd [Haffajee] probably have had a burning tyre around her neck".

This was a "metaphor" and not an incitement to violence, he said.

He was illustrating that if a black person in the 1980s was seen to be a "traitor", they would be "necklaced".

"The inference is if she was seen to be traitor [in the 80s] this is what would have happened to her.

"My assumption is that we are in a mature country with intelligent people. I can vouch that the column has not been read by anyone as a reason to hurt anyone," he argued.

The ANCYL intended meeting the Sowetan's editors for an explanation of why they fired him.

  • peter the gr - 2011-08-02 15:39

    Ohhhhh, shame, he could not sleep all nite. . . who give a damn!!!!!!!

      kaja - 2011-08-02 15:52

      Yeah shame, he should have had a glass of warm milk with some arsenic in!

      djg - 2011-08-02 15:54

      maybe he should raise his bed with another brick and then he'll sleep better.....this thing is nothing but a tsotsie with a tie and jacket

      MandlaSithole - 2011-08-02 15:56

      Oh please let him sue and win. SOWETAN needs to take accountability and he needs to pay Farreal.

      Human Being - 2011-08-02 15:59

      Shame on you. We give a damn.

      McDaNife - 2011-08-02 16:27

      This man is out of a job, Malema cant help him too.

      the mc - 2011-08-03 18:54

      i was reading news at and i realised how they can alter the news hence reporting their own views. by reading the article clearly you can observe how journalists report their opinions as stories.i am okay with a journalist expressing their opinion.but atleast just make it clear, no wonder why we have 'opinion' and 'column' sections. about the first 26% of the article is news the rest OPINION.

  • melchiedek - 2011-08-02 15:43

    miyeni you have alot to deal with,look for a job,defend lawsuit from haffajee and shut up.

  • Trevor Obery - 2011-08-02 15:43


      LiraShea - 2011-08-03 08:41

      Pork chop

  • Bosj - 2011-08-02 15:44

    The idiot has now realised that he does not have a job from "capitalist". So he does not have money to buy clothes and groceries. Well let me think of an advice "....K..C..U..F F.F.O". Ask Malema for some bribe money.

  • sganja - 2011-08-02 15:49

    It make sense,he is the journalist not the editor, so why did the editorial team published the column? it really make sense I'm satisfied.

      Daemos1 - 2011-08-02 16:01

      maybe he is somewhat a scapegoat at the end of the day. But Eric is a seasoned journalist, actor, author,business owner etc. He's got a law degree He knows sganja, he has seen other journalists get fired around him for similar things, despite an editorial team being in place.

      Richard - 2011-08-03 11:01

      I agree, Eric cant claim ignorance or shift the responsibility for something he put forward when he is well in the know of how the dice can be expected to fall. His article was not prudent in the least and his defense of the inciteful things he wrote is terribly thin, particularly when it is unmistakably evident, that there is an element of unrestrained violence in this country not at all moderated by a sense of maturity or intelligence.

  • Nepster10 - 2011-08-02 15:50

    Send your CV to Malema. He is the one who will entertain your hate speech.

  • ProfDoc18 - 2011-08-02 15:51

    Sue them Boy. You cant be sacked for speaking your mind. Afterall this is a democratic country.

      Boerseun - 2011-08-02 16:20

      He is sacked because he spoke his mind. Since when do news papers report on whats on an angry mans mind? Since when do news papers not report on facts and whats on reporters minds? This just shows you how ill informed you, Malema, Miyeni and your supporters are. Go back to school and learn about reporting!!!

  • Izwelethu - 2011-08-02 15:53

    Keep talking Bra Eric....The ANCYL has got ur back...

      Vishal - 2011-08-02 16:40

      By back, do u mean that they will pay his bills... I don't think so

  • mkwakwa - 2011-08-02 15:58

    Sue them Mr Miyeni, Mondli Makhanya is a puppet of white interesst, he never played a part in our strugge and is now busy licking their shoes. Speak truth to Power Mr Myeni, the truth will prevail, this is not a setback for you but a part of your journey to liberating your people

      Kenno - 2011-08-02 16:23

      and you cant type....moron!

      Bosj - 2011-08-02 16:24

      Mr Miyeni, go ask Julius for some change (he has a lot, remember he is building a 16 mil house). This will teach you to think before you spew your bull. Capital is the one that makes sure we are living(we have houses, cars, clothes, education for our kids, health care,etc) not your illitrate woodwork boy.

      Boitshepo - 2011-08-02 21:21

      You really are a fool mkwakwa, your username says it all, so you think this is just a setback for him? you're such a bloody moron which liberation are you referring to exactly wake-up miyeni wont win this case never ever and theres nothing you and juju can do to save his @ss its end of the road for him and we say good riddance to bad trash now next on the firing line is your master juju

      dageewe - 2011-08-03 01:44

      What struggle did you have bro, you were in nappies! Those days are gone so stop carrying on about it!

      open-minded - 2011-08-03 08:45

      @dageewe, don't be ignorant "the struggle continues"...

      apie - 2011-08-04 09:13

      mkwakwa your name should be maKAKwe.

      apie - 2011-08-04 09:15

      You guys are still struggling because of your own inefficiencies. The 'struggle' is over. your struggle will start once the boere take a stand. Then you must get very scared.

  • Thanyani - 2011-08-02 15:59

    He is right

      Boitshepo - 2011-08-02 21:22

      right about what exactly? another idiot nxaaa

  • Richie - 2011-08-02 16:02

    Hate speech as jurno ... surley should be reason for dismissal.

  • tryanything - 2011-08-02 16:03

    So with your boxes of matches you are going to liberate city press and its White masters???

  • Mike Hoxbig - 2011-08-02 16:11

    I hope the editors tell the ANCYL to f-off. Wtf do they think they are that everyone is now suddenly accountable to them?

  • Aabels - 2011-08-02 16:11

    Why is the ANC kindergarden meeting with the Sowetan? The sacking of this rude guy has got nothing to do with them. It is an internal matter. Are they now the Sowetan's masters?? By the way, are we ordinary citizens paying these clowns salaries and if we are, for doing what????

  • Russian_Bear - 2011-08-02 16:11

    "This was a "metaphor" and not an incitement to violence, he said"... Yawn : whenever someone gets into hot water this is the best they can come up with

  • ProfKaygee - 2011-08-02 16:14

    This guy is really stupid. Just because white people pay better does not mean they make us black people their puppets. Everyone has his/her own mind and what you do greatly influences the outcome. He keeps on saying that she is working for a white company. I don't see the relevance of her job, it puts food on her table the same way his former job did. Another thing, if previous journalists who did the same thing that he just did were getting fired, why did he do it? This person should just shut up and accept that he messed up. I am getting sick and tired of fools like him that portray a bad light about us black people.

  • Mlu - 2011-08-02 16:17

    Don't worry Mr Miyeni. Jimmy Manyi has been earmarked for a DG's post in the Dep of Minerals as he's given up on becoming a cabinet spokesman. You seem to qualify to replace him. You could perform very well there as a journalist.

  • Lorax - 2011-08-02 16:19

    Could he actually be more of an idiot? And why did he actually have a column in the first place? I read the Ferial piece yesterday, and just from a grammatical point of view it was disgustingly sub-standard. He calls himself a journalist?

  • JustinD - 2011-08-02 16:21

    FFs you really are stupid....go ahead and sue, maybe Ju liar will pay your legal fees because you definately wont win your lame case....dumb and dumber by the minute!!!

  • Boerseun - 2011-08-02 16:22

    I see alot of comments saying "Sue them Mr Miyeni". Idiots, you cannot sue anyone for firing you because you did not do your job right. He reported on what was on his mind and how he saw en felt about things. HE DID NOT REPORT ON FACTS. A REPORTERS JOB IS TO REPORT ON FACTS. Mr Miyeni DID NOT REPORT ON FACTS.

      Almaki - 2011-08-03 09:54

      As much as I'd like to agree with you, he was hired to produce an opinion column, in other words a piece of material of his own devising which states or promotes a specific viewpoint or opinion. So no, that is not why he was fired. He was fired because his column was blatantly racist, and could be interpreted as crimen injuria towards Ms Haffajee.

      jester - 2011-08-03 11:00

      I would also like to agree with you Boerseun, and that is my first reaction. But I think a point he is trying to make is if it was so wrong and offensive why did they publish it in the first place? Now the editors are going to just wash their hands of it and give him the boot. I don't really feel sorry for him, but I can understand where he's coming from on this.

  • Menace - 2011-08-02 16:23

    Oh Menyi, Juju is single handedly responsible for dividing the nation. When was the last time we were united? With the SWC in 2010. When Julius was gagged! I guess you quite conveniently forgot about that time we were united, right?

  • Cynical Sci - 2011-08-02 16:24

    The irony of him asking where the accountability is has left my gast completely flabbered. He penned it! But I do think the editors have something to answer to.

  • Liberated - 2011-08-02 16:24

    don't waste your time and money, you won't win this one

  • Jeffrey Jones - 2011-08-02 16:25

    "...if I got my salary from a white company, I would imagine that that company is my master." Time you got over the master/slave mentality Miyeni. It's a contract between an employer and an employee. Let's face it this is not the first time you have been fired by an employer for your attitude problem with people you disagree with.

      Kareltjie Boshoff - 2011-08-04 09:21

      The perpetual slave mentality. Really annoying and just makes the employee (or as Eric sees himself, "victim") seems like a racist, bitter idiot.

  • Skeed Marks - 2011-08-02 16:26

    This idiot just seeks popularity. He is a disgraceful barbarian to us Black folk. He obviously thinks that we are worse idiots than he is, to believe that his methaphor is meaningless. Sue his pants off Haff!!!!

  • Werner - 2011-08-02 16:37

    "White capitalist" are the only evil ones now, eh? What about dodgy BEE(EEEE?)/ANC&Cronies affiliated tenders?

  • Mike - 2011-08-02 16:39

    Spout hate speach then play the victim card? Soundls like he's been through an ANCYL training camp...

  • OLIBO - 2011-08-02 16:49

    Eric, if you need a labour lawyer,just call me! I'm on your side all the way!

      Kareltjie Boshoff - 2011-08-04 09:23

      Wow, and you have time to type BS on News24; you must really be busy and successful! Let's face it, your "cases" just turn in your favour when Judge Motata is presiding!

  • Colin - 2011-08-02 16:59

    He can be lucky they don't take him on for hate speech..The idiot!

  • The Wonderer - 2011-08-02 17:04

    OK, so the editor who gave the go ahead to print the racist crap, gets promoted and the racist fired...mmm, interesting, isn't the editor also racist for giving the go ahead to print such nonsense??

  • jamwa - 2011-08-02 17:32

    where are we going south africans?

      Boitshepo - 2011-08-02 21:43


  • Kaapie - 2011-08-02 17:35

    Maybe he should be necklaced!!

  • Oddearring - 2011-08-02 17:39

    "The path of divisive, racial politics is an easy one, fuelled by populist rhetoric and conspiracy theories, straw men and distorted facts. It also appeals to the most wounded parts of the South African people's psyche - the anger, shame, denial, and deficit of self-esteem which apartheid has bequeathed to us." -- Lindiwe Mazibuko

  • Shermon Malefane - 2011-08-02 17:54

    Eric is a Columnist. His job is to write on what's in his head, not on facts. White people are so bitter. Shame, you can't rule over us again.

      dingo - 2011-08-03 09:05

      Warning warning Idiot!!!!: All journalists should base their articles on fact idiot, that's what journalism is all about. Or is it ok for me to suck nonsensical facts out my thumb? Do you have any idea even who Ferial Haffajee is? You can only wish to stand in her shadows blooodyyy ignoramus!

      Kareltjie Boshoff - 2011-08-04 09:29

      Shermon, what he wrote was hate speech, so his head is full of hate! Shermon, his comments are incitement to violence, as it condones "necklacing". The real "shame" is that you still obsess about whites. The real "shame" is that you still fear the painfully obvious. That whites will never "rule" blacks again. You still have nightmares about Apartheid. Your nightmares bother you so much that you will rather put a tyrant into power to abuse "your people" EVEN WORSE! shame.

  • melvin.rautenbach - 2011-08-02 18:21

    He has a very good point. The core question that no one seems to be asking is: Where does editorial accountability lie? Answer that question, and a lot gets resolved.

  • Neles - 2011-08-02 18:26

    Oh the drama ... "I haven't slept all night" - Miyeni "It made me cry." - Haffajee Gavin Hood should buy the rights and call it A Talk To Remember with the male lead Presley Chweneyagae who plays Miyeni and Kim Engelbrecht who plays Haffajee destined to be together yet apart

  • Hugh - 2011-08-02 20:49

    Kuli Roberts' "column" was a string of "jokes" - minimal intellectual effort

      Boitshepo - 2011-08-02 21:33

      oohh please grandpa what exactly do you consider intellectual atleast shem you still have a sense of humour but that lady rocked big time nogal

  • Nqovi - 2011-08-02 20:49

    MY MAN, I love Eric for all the truth he speaks and people seem not to understand this man is brilliant. You give them hardtime brother and will be supporting you all the way VIVA black people VIVA.... soon we'll lead the whole world as we have done it in America and Africa is our own....

      Al - 2011-08-02 21:06

      First Malema is going to take all your money and blame it on whites.

      Boitshepo - 2011-08-02 21:31

      Tjooo another mini-juju stop dreaming wena i see you under the mine and bank nationalization spell you probably are poor and guess what you'll die poor for as long as you keep thinking like that

      dingo - 2011-08-03 09:06

      America???? You are a bit lost!

      Kareltjie Boshoff - 2011-08-04 09:33

      America? Obama is more white than South African whites. Loser! LOL! But again, you base your support on racial opposition ("You give them hardtime brother"), guess we can't call you a racist, because apparently according to Prof.Malema that's "impossible". So we'll just call you a "cretin" and be done with it.

  • Marius Rossouw - 2011-08-02 21:20

    Don't bother Miyeni, you can re-tyre now.

  • Boitshepo - 2011-08-02 21:29

    LOL so what if you couldnt sleep? what the F do you want... a MEDAL? well brace yourself Eric this is the beginning of your nightmare buddy from now on you will be fantasizing about sleeping, you will never ever sleep again my friend hopefully your friend dummy juju will take care of you and will soon find you a job till then just consider yourself a walking zombie and we really dont care you got exactly what you deserve

  • Blip - 2011-08-03 00:55

    Miyeni has been sacked from a job before. This is his second firing.

  • Atholl - 2011-08-03 06:22

    The common element here is (journalists) writing (public media) that is (racially provocative). Unfortunately journalists can say anything, anytime (except) they must obey the constitution and not write articles that advocate hatred that is based on (race) (gender) (ethnicity) or (religion). That's why Bullard was fired ... not b'cause he's fat or ugly.

  • ANDRE - 2011-08-03 08:09

    Miyeni,please stop blaming the whites for everything, take control of your own destiny, get productive and make a positive contribution to South Africa. Look at history, this victim mentallity of yours will bring you nowhere.

  • Janine - 2011-08-03 08:16

    I love the smell of a victim in the morning! This man is quite entitled to write about how he feels but he is not entitled to spout hate speech and engage in personal attacks on people. I hope that Ferial sues the pants off him.

  • BLACKFRUIT - 2011-08-03 08:53


  • changeisGood - 2011-08-03 09:41

    Political point of view intolerance, Eric Miyeni has a right to believe that those who stand to "lose", once Nationalisation kicks in, they are the ones trying very hard to convince US Black people who want to see a true transformation comes to effect, how our leaders are corrupt, so what? if Julius Malema has a trust fund, These right-wingers are trying very hard to convince us otherwise, I have news for you, our minds are already made up in terms of what we want to achieve, we will force Nationalisation to happen as the time has come for the mistakes of the past to be rectified, come hell or high water, we are prepared to DIE, for those mistakes to be rectified. If it takes us going back to the days where we took to the streets, so be it. We will never rest, so you better get used to the idea that a Nationalisation discussion will not go away simply because somebody is trying to discredit Julius Malema, If Julius Malema goes to court and is found guilty of corruption that is fine because he would be guilty of a crime he committed, however you must know that should that happen, which I doubt it will, the nationalisation program will not go away, we still want nationalisation to happen, you can call us names and say we are lazy and we want things we did not work for, I have this to tell you, History that we read about informed us that the settlers came in South Africa and tricked our fore fathers of their Land and then made the slaves in their own land.

      changeisGood - 2011-08-03 10:10

      People, we are all aware that everything that is happening right now is to prevent Nationalisation and Land restitution from happening, we are well aware that anyone who believes that nationalisation will work gets discredited and destroyed as some people are doing everything in their power to ensure that nationalisation does not see a day of light. What I saw on DSTV channel 107 (Mining for change)last night confirmed to me that those who are opposed to Nationalisation think that we are stupid to see what this whole thing is about. It is time for black people to start making a meaningful contribution to South Africa's economy. The only way to achieve this objective is through rational leadership. We admit that some areas such as Integrity and transparency needs to be addressed which is doable. The STATE must have major shareholding in those identified industries and Profit declaired should go into Governments priority projects, which includes Health (NHI),Education, Housing and unemployment. These objectives can only be achieved if the Government starts now, by appointing Champions who have integrity, (i.e. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa) to overlook and ensure the program achieves it's objectives, It is not an easy task, but it is achievable. including representatives from opposition parties is also key for transparency and corporate Governance, the point is Nationalisation must happen in order for Government to meet it's objectives stipulated in the freedom Charter.

      Kareltjie Boshoff - 2011-08-04 09:34

      Let's summarise your too-long paragraph: "I am a victim. Boo-hoo." Done.

  • nkosinathi.lukhele - 2011-08-03 09:52

    Go for it Eric, teach them.

  • BANJO1 - 2011-08-03 09:52


  • eradingoana - 2011-08-03 10:27

    Embarrassing to realize that our country still have journalists like Miyeni who don't even know the direction of where their taxes are spent. His vision has been shut down by illiteracy, I just wonder how he got the job anyway. Little racists like Miyeni should be locked in the cache. SA is building a non-racial democracy which surely Miyeni does not know who sacrificed their lives to see it happening.

  • Juan - 2011-08-03 10:32

    The main purpose of his artical was to propagate it's readers , aimed at the weak minded who cannot think for themselves and who follow the crowd . South Africa is full to the brim with white people who call themselves boere who want apartheid back and also so called black struggle fighters who still struggle a struggle which ended officially in 1994 . The only struggle you should still have today ,is when your constipated . lets start standing together and just chill .