'I am grateful' - the real Barry Roux speaks out after News24 unmasks parody Twitter account

2019-01-18 19:20
Defence lawyer Barry Roux during the sentencing hearing of paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius at the high court in Pretoria. (Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters, Pool, SAPA)

Defence lawyer Barry Roux during the sentencing hearing of paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius at the high court in Pretoria. (Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters, Pool, SAPA)

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The real advocate Barry Roux has reacted with gratitude to the unmasking of the @AdvBarryRoux Twitter account.

"I am grateful, as I was often confronted with some of the tweets. Some people refused to accept my explanation that it was not me, and that I did not have a Twitter account," Roux told News24 on Friday.

Roux, who gained prominence during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial as counsel for the defence, was quickly parodied on social media for his iconic line "I put it to you…", heard often during the cross-examination of witnesses.

'Threat to national security'

Former provincial Hawks-head Shadrack Sibiya also responded to the revelations. The @AdvBarryRoux account previously implicated Sibiya in convicted underworld figure Radovan Krejcir's crime ring, a claim which Sibiya strongly denied. 

"I think he is a threat to national security and the South African authorities should show their interest in this person as he is compromising national security and/or stability. He has made comments about issues of national importance and also commented about leaders, socialites and other people of national interest."

Sibiya questioned the sources of his information, drawing into question how a foreign national could have access to sensitive information.

"Who has been feeding him with information, what has been the objective? Who is behind him? How can Twitter South Africa ensure that there is no repeat of something like this?"

Barry who?

A News24 investigation conclusively linked the account, which has more than 500 000 followers, to a Zambian blogger named Csho Chilala.

The investigation traced the file-dropping Twitter user by using photos from his Instagram account, which reverse image searches showed was linked to another account of his. The investigation also revealed a Facebook account operating under the name Vusi Mkhize, which has previously posted updates simultaneously with the @AdvBarryRoux account.

Exposed: Barry who? The Zambian man behind SA's black Twitter CIC

Video footage uploaded by Chilala during the 2016 Zambian elections identified his face and his voice, which could in turn be linked to a radio interview @AdvBarryRoux conducted in January 2018.

Flashbacks

While many Twitter users reacted with surprise at the revelation, some claim his identity was already exposed during a twar in 2017.

In December 2017, several Twitter users participated in the twar between @AdvBarryRoux and Daniel Marven. Users posted photos of a man who they believed was behind @AdvBarryRoux.

But shortly thereafter, the @AdvBarryRoux account posted on Instagram and Twitter, denying that the photos were his. He also claimed he and Daniel Marven orchestrated it as a publicity stunt during a radio interview in January 2018.

Earlier this week, @AdvBarryRoux still denied that the photos linked to Csho Chilala are of him.

Read more on:    twitter  |  shadrack sibiya  |  barry roux  |  social media
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