The author of the social media post purported to show a racist and offensive mail written by a MiWay staff member, has apologised.
The writer of the post, former MiWay client Mr. Mondli Madlala, was identified in an independent forensic investigation into the incident. After having a claim legitimately rejected by MiWay and subsequently by the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance, he used a MiWay mail to generate a false and defamatory mail containing racist remarks and making false allegations about MiWay’s claims handling policies.
In a meeting yesterday with MiWay CEO, René Otto and MiWay Head of Marketing and Brand, Nthabiseng Moloi Mr. Madlala apologised to Otto and stated that he had experienced no racism in his interactions with MiWay or its staff. MiWay recognises that it could have done better in its communication with the client, which possibly could have contributed to Mr. Madlala’s dissatisfaction. It must be noted that this did not affect the merits of the case.
Mr. Madlala was given the option to make a public apology or face legal action, and today he agreed to a joint statement with MiWay, regretting his actions. He apologised to MiWay for bringing the company into disrepute, to MiWay employees, especially the two who received hate mail and death threats as a result of his actions, and to the people of South Africa, for stoking racial tensions.
Mr. Madlala said: “I apologise sincerely for my actions. I acted impulsively and without any thought to how this post would spiral out of control. I have learnt how dangerous social media can be, if misused, especially in South Africa. I also realise that I put the two MiWay employees in danger and I plan to meet with them, to apologise again in person.”
The two MiWay employees implicated by Mr. Madlala have accepted his apology and said they would also not press any charges against him.
Otto reiterated that as a proudly South African company, MiWay would not tolerate any actions that served to incite racial disharmony in the country. “Our objectives in investigating and pursuing this matter were to prove our innocence, protect the staff members who were falsely implicated, and not act in way that would further fuel the racial divide. We accept Mr. Madlala’s apology and we hope that this is a lesson to many people that you can’t get away with something like this. We trust that this matter has now been laid to rest,” he said.
Mr. Madlala has committed to not contradict this agreement – in part or in full – and acknowledges if he contravenes it, MiWay reserves its right to proceed with legal action.
To further atone for his actions, Mr. Madlala agreed to give talks at the six schools in MiWay’s CSI initiative, the MiHeart Project, about the dangers of social media.