NEWS
18/06/2018 15:56 SAST | Updated 18/06/2018 15:56 SAST

Tweep Who Wished A 'Bullet In The Head' On Ferial Haffajee Has History Of Racist Slurs Online

In a tweet at DA leader Mmusi Maimane, 'Travor' accused former public protector Thuli Madonsela of favouring 'all the white pig [sic]'.

A screenshot of a direct message sent to HuffPost SA editor-at-large Ferial Haffajee on Twitter.
Twitter
A screenshot of a direct message sent to HuffPost SA editor-at-large Ferial Haffajee on Twitter.

Hidden behind an inconspicuous username and handle, a Twitter user last week threatened HuffPost editor-at-large Ferial Haffajee in a direct message, saying she deserves "a bullet in the head".

In between spewing a range of obscene terms at Haffajee, the user, who goes by the name "Travor", told her she must "go back to Europe", because South Africa is "not [her] country".

Upon closer inspection of the user's timeline, it becomes apparent that "Travor" has made a number of racist tweets, also attacking white and coloured users. He or she also shares misogynistic pornographic images on the platform regularly.

In a tweet at DA leader Mmusi Maimane, "Travor" accused former public protector Thuli Madonsela of favouring "all the white pig [sic]".

HuffPost contacted "Travor" on Twitter and put questions to him. He at first refused to comment, then provided a cellphone number "so we could text him our questions". The number does not exist.

Haffajee last year found herself the victim of a social media smear campaign for her reporting on state capture allegedly involving the controversial Gupta family, their business associates and state officials.

Scores of images were posted on social media linking Haffajee to the hashtag decrying #whitemonopolycapital (so-called "white monopoly capital"), some which labelled her a "presstitute" (media prostitute) and a lapdog of the Richemont chairman and South African billionaire Johann Rupert.

Leaked emails from within the Gupta business empire later revealed that this was part of an orchestrated paid media campaign to divert attention away from the family and discredit journalists reporting on widescale corruption allegedly involving them.