Sygnia CEO and prominent Twitter personality Magda Wierzycka has once again found herself in the centre of a social media storm, after tweeting the wrong picture to accompany a tweet about Human Rights Day.
Wierzycka tweeted the iconic picture of Hector Peterson to illustrate the Sharpville Massacre of March 21, 1960. The Peterson photo is from the June 1976 uprisings.
Her tweet sparked outrage, and several people pointed out to her how insensitive it was to tweet the wrong picture.
Dear white people - please brush up on your black history before pretending to care🙈🙈🙈.
I mean really😢😢😢 pic.twitter.com/DiUcJUI1OP— Khaya Sithole (@CoruscaKhaya) March 21, 2018
It's an iconic image that comes to many people's minds first on days such as today. The upload lasted 2 minutes as I realised my mistake and corrected it. Is it really a story on a day such as today? Please rather remind us all of what happened. pic.twitter.com/FWHKsX1VOn— Magda Wierzycka (@Magda_Wierzycka) March 21, 2018
She then posted and retweeted several tweets with images that really were from the Sharpville Massacre.
Let's not forget 21 March 1960. pic.twitter.com/EOox6tCFVo— Magda Wierzycka (@Magda_Wierzycka) March 21, 2018
The youngest victim of the #SharpevilleMassacre. James was just 12 years old and on his way home from school when he got caught up in the crowds and was gunned down.. #HumanRightsDay pic.twitter.com/u0iYGAxEGr— Leanne Manas (@LeanneManas) March 21, 2018
Wierzycka made the news last week, when she tweeted that a good way for South Africans to create jobs would be to hire an extra domestic worker or gardener.
This is constructive @Magda_Wierzycka. You should consider engaging with the #InstituteforEconomicJustice & the @SA_NMW on approaches to combat poverty wages, & reduce wage inequality. Using procurement as a lever is one international best practice see https://t.co/4sWOPq0zfy https://t.co/OItu3yjbI3— Neil Coleman (@NeilColemanSA) March 18, 2018
She deleted the tweet and apologised for it after being severely criticised. According to TimesLive, the tweet read:
"I often get asked‚ how can I help SA? Our biggest challenge = job creation. A thought: let every household employ just 1 more cleaning lady or gardener. Just 1. I know it's a financial sacrifice. But we all need to sacrifice if we are to save SA. Imagine the impact (sic)."
I withdraw the comment. I thought it was a practical solution to a short term serious problem of people living on social grants (particularly women who live on child grants of R400 pm per child). I apologize if I offended anyone. @thabileoka https://t.co/XRCicEjnK1— Magda Wierzycka (@Magda_Wierzycka) March 17, 2018
So @Magda_Wierzycka has deleted her job creation tweet by employing domestic workers and gardeners. The point was not to silence you, Magda. Rather, to encourage you to be circumspect and sensitive. I hope deleting the tweet means a beginning of that process, for you.— Nomboniso Gasa (@nombonisogasa) March 17, 2018
She reportedly offered to donate R200,000 to "an organisation [that] approache[d] me with a real job creation scheme for real people."
Wierzycka became well-known for being an anti-corruption campaigner online. The Poland-born billionaire offered a R500,000 reward for anyone who came forward with information that could lead to the arrests of the Gupta brothers.