Adriaan Basson called out for ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’ remarks

News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson has been called out for making “racist” and “sexist” comments directed at former UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng.

Phakeng vacated her post on March 3 after a settlement between her and the university’s council. The parties reached an agreement to avoid more acrimony and wrangling, and a possible suspension.

On Tuesday, Basson took to Twitter to criticise Phakeng’s fashion and dancing videos that the former vice-chancellor previously shared on social media.

Basson accused Phakeng of posting about fashion, dancing, and boxing gloves while the university was shutting down due to ongoing protests.

His remarks attracted the attention of many people including journalist Aldrin Sampear, who wrote that Basson is an example of how newsroom managers further diminish the confidence the news audience has in the media.



Following criticism from a growing number of people, Basson changed his tune.

"I apologise if my tweet caused hurt or created the wrong impression that a VC [vice-chancellor] can’t lead and have fun at once. That was not the point I was trying to make," he wrote.



However, he justified his first tweet, stating that student protests erupted at UCT on February 24. At the time, Phakeng was still in charge of the institution.

"I have learnt [that] this platform doesn’t tolerate any criticism of Prof Phakeng, and I will stay in my lane and await the finalisation of the Mpati Commission’s report," he wrote.

Phakeng clapped back at Basson and said on February 22 he had announced her retirement from the university.

She further stated that on 24, 25, and 26 February she peacefully dined with students at their residences because there was no chaos.

"If anything had burnt, you would have been the first to report that, but you didn’t, because you knew I was the last person to blame," wrote Phakeng.


For more education news from Sunday World, click here.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here

Latest News