Labour dept's employment equity event hijacked by racist, homophobic virtual hecklers

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Andrew Brookes/Getty Images
Andrew Brookes/Getty Images
  • The Department of Labour launched the Commission for Employment Equity report on Thursday morning, but te event did not go as planned virtually.
  • Those tuning into the event through Zoom heard two hecklers shouting racist and homophobic slurs, disturbing the event.
  • The department opted to continue with the event in person, while the hecklers were eventually kicked off of the virtual link.


The Department of Employment and Labour suffered some technical glitches when the virtual link to its launch of the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) annual report was hijacked by hecklers on Thursday.

The launch of the report was held in Midrand, Johannesburg, on Thursday morning. However, reporters and other stakeholders who were not based in Johannesburg were invited to view and participate in the event through a virtual link on virtual meeting platform, Zoom.

The mishap underscores the mishaps that corporate and government events have had to navigate since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, which confined most South Africans to their homes and made virtual meetings online commonplace for most professionals.

READ | Nxesi denies Labour Migration Policy is apartheid-style job reservation

As the event started, those viewing it on Zoom heard what appeared to sound like two young American men arguing over the audio of the event. It is unknown how these individuals got access to the meeting.

Ironically, the individuals could be heard shouting homophobic and racist slurs while CEE chair Tabea Kabinde was presenting a report on workplace harassment.

READ | National Minimum Wage boost dealt no knocks to the economy yet - Nxesi

While the event was scheduled to start at 09:00 in the morning, the hecklers were only silenced after 10:30. The department has not responded to questions from Fin24 about the incident but pressed on with the event.

The CEE annual report is compiled to monitor the state of employment equity and workplace representation in terms of workforce, management, leadership and ownership of businesses in South Africa.

Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Fin24 front page.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.80
+1.1%
Rand - Pound
19.39
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.68
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.97
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,827.37
0.0%
Silver
21.15
0.0%
Palladium
1,880.50
0.0%
Platinum
911.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
113.12
+2.7%
Top 40
59,993
+1.6%
All Share
66,349
+1.6%
Resource 10
64,422
-0.2%
Industrial 25
76,590
+2.6%
Financial 15
15,623
+1.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot