MiWay CEO Rene Otto apologises for tweet about Afrikaners

René Otto CEO of short-term insurer MiWay
René Otto CEO of short-term insurer MiWay
Image: Robert Tshabalala

MiWay CEO Rene Otto has apologised for a tweet which seemed to offend Afrikaners on Twitter.

The tweet elicited angry responses‚ including one from AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel.

Others called for a boycott of MiWay.

However‚ talkshow host Redi Tlhabi saw nothing wrong with Otto’s tweet.

Following the Twitter reaction‚ Otto first apologised on the platform and later issued a statement. In the statement‚ Otto said the tweet was sent in his personal capacity and did not reflect the views of MiWay.

Otto said his intention with the tweet‚ while provocative‚ was not to hurt any person or culture‚ but to encourage the reading of the book and to challenge all South Africans‚ in particular Afrikaans-speaking South Africans‚ which included him‚ to debate the role of nation-building.

“In retrospect‚ I failed dismally‚” Otto said.

He said once he became aware of the hurt and offence he caused‚ he posted an unconditional apology on Twitter. “I want to repeat that apology here. I take full responsibility for my actions ‚ I should have known better.

“It is not in my nature to be hurtful or offensive‚ yet‚ the reaction to my tweet is testament to the fact that my words did hurt and offend. I have only myself to blame for this.”

Last year‚ MiWay weathered a storm when an email was widely shared‚ purportedly from the company assessor discussing a managerial decision to reject 90% of claims by black people because they were supposed to be easy targets and were “baboons”. The email turned out to be fake.

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