MiWay's racist mail a hoax - forensic report

Johannesburg - MiWay is keeping the identity of its hoaxer a secret for now.

A forensic report into a racist email that circulated on social media ruled that the offensive email was a hoax, the insurance company said. 

The hoax was allegedly plotted by a disgruntled customer, who used his correspondence with the insurance company to falsify the email.

An image surfaced last week, immediately sparking outrage from social media users. It depicted a racist email which claimed MiWay would be dismissing claims from black people and contained offensive racist slurs. At first glance the email appeared to have been circulated internally, from a MiWay staffer's account. 

But independent forensic auditors Cyanre, The Digital Forensic Lab concluded that the offensive email was indeed fake.

MiWay refused to name the culprit, saying it first wanted to engage with the disgruntled customer about his behaviour and the reason for it.

In a tweet on Wednesday, MiWay CEO Rene Otto said the company invites further scrutiny of its report.

“We welcome other forensic experts to come and verify our report, after we've made contact with the originator of the fake mail,” Otto said. 

The company said MiWay launched an immediate investigation into the incident when the social media post emerged last week. "The email purported to be a snapshot of an internal email containing racist remarks and making false allegations about MiWay's claims handling policies.” 

Danny Myburgh, managing director of Cyanre, The Digital Forensic Lab, said an email sent from a MiWay employee was manipulated by an external source. "The image circulating on social media is a fabrication."

Otto said the report would only be made public after the company had talked to the hoaxer.

"To be fair, we have decided not to publish the report as yet. We want to provide the client with the opportunity to respond first," he said. "Once we have received feedback, we will be in a position to elaborate on the way forward." 


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