'I am done with Twitter' - Magda Wierzycka

Magda Wierzycka
Image: Supplied

Billionaire businesswoman Magda Wierzycka says she has abandoned Twitter following an avalanche of criticism over a tweet she posted to commemorate Human Rights Day on Wednesday.

Wierzykca‚ the CEO of investment firm Sygnia‚ tweeted an iconic photograph of Hector Pieterson who was shot and killed on 16 June 1976 during the Soweto uprisings with the caption “Let’s never forget 21 March 1960”‚ which is in fact the date of the Sharpeville massacre.

Businesswoman Magda Wierzycka is no stranger to Twitter wars. This week she received backlash after she tweeted the iconic picture of Hector Peterson in commemoration of Human Rights Day.

In a subsequent tweet Wierzycka apologised after deleting the photograph. She then tweeted a picture of Sharpeville‚ with a similar caption.

Human Rights day commemorates the anti-pass demonstration outside Sharpeville police station in Vereeniging. 69 people were killed and around 200 injured when police opened fire on the crowd.

She told Times Select on Thursday that the criticism had succeeded in silencing her voice on the platform. “I have decided to abandon Twitter‚” she said.

“I don’t believe that a two-minute mistake in an upload of a photograph and which I corrected immediately – but not quickly enough for someone to take a snapshot – is a story.”

She said she found it “appalling” that “credible journalists [are] using this to attack my credibility”.

She also pointed out that the official account for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) had made the same mistake and posted the same picture on Twitter‚ where it remained for the day.

“They have achieved one thing. A voice silenced. Pity‚ as it was a forum through which many people in need reached out to me‚” she said. “I am upset and saddened‚ but so be it.”

Over the weekend‚ Wierzycka also had to apologise for a tweet in which she suggested that every household in the country hire a “cleaning lady or gardener”.

She deleted the tweet after swift backlash‚ saying she thought it was a “practical short-term solution to the serious problem of people living on social grants. I apologise if I offended anyone.”

She pledged R200 000 to job creation initiatives as part of her apology.

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