Greenpeace site hijacked by ‘nasty racist’
AS THE country celebrates Mandela Day, Greenpeace Africa has found itself staving off some unwanted publicity that dragged its name into a racism spat.
In a Facebook post containing an iconic image of Nelson Mandela with his fist raised to the air, the environmental organisation asks followers what they will be doing for 67 minutes in honour of the former statesman.
One of the responses posted on Greenpeace Africa’s page is that of Matthew Graham, who stated: “I am disengaging from Greenpeace. Go for it, save the K **** r and kill the world.”
However, none of the people who commented afterwards called him out for using the K-word.
Instead, they just carried on as normal, talking about how they will be distributing menstrual cups or raising money to upgrade kennels.
Greenpeace’s climate and energy campaigner Nhlanhla Sibisi said Greenpeace had escalated the issue to its digital team so as to authenticate Graham’s account before determining which steps to take.
“We will first determine whether his profile is not fake, and when we track him down we will be able to report him to the Human Rights Commission and the police,” Sibisi told The Star yesterday.
Despite Greenpeace being aware of Graham’s post, it did not delete it, but only sent a standard cautionary message that the use of hate speech was unacceptable.
A search through Graham’s Facebook timeline showed a series of racially abusive posts on social media.
He also posted two pictures next to each other with the caption: “From first world country to third world s**thole.”
The first one, taken during the apartheid era, has the old South African flag attached and shows police marching as if there is a carnival. The second one, with the new flag, shows black people protesting.
In another post, Graham wrote: “Awake at stupid o’clock thanx to my darker brethren.”
In what can be described as a reaction to a break-in he suffered where some of his appliances were stolen, Graham wrote: “I am in such an anti-black mood. Steal if you want BUT not from me. I shoot back.”
In another post he wrote: “So happy I met a good black man today! He was DEAD! I need to meet more like this.
“Please be advised I am not a racist I am an individualist. Hate them all individually.”
When a friend of his told him to “stop being so angry on Facebook”, Graham responded by saying: “Yeah I am so negative and angry that I search for missing people and animals. Yet I don’t murder rape or thieve (sic). Sorry I’m so bad…”
The Star sent a message to Graham via Facebook to speak to him about his use of the k-word but he never responded.
Another user, Anton Simoes, referred to Nelson Mandela as a terrorist on the same post. “Plenty to do for more than 67 minutes without needing to celebrate a terrorist.”
Despite Graham’s and Simoes’s divisive comments, some followers painted an optimistic picture regarding their plans for the day.
Annemarie Reis said: “I am a volunteer and monthly donor at the Garden Route Spca Mosselbaai. Tomorrow I will be arrested by police and locked in a cage at the shelter. My 67 minutes will include raising ‘bail’.
“The “bail” money will be used to upgrade our ageing kennels. It is an opportunity to add another fun dimension to my favourite charity!”
Others said they would be engaging in daily activities contributing to the main thrust of Mandela Day.
Shamila Ramjawan, who lives in KwaZulu-Natal, said: “Doing what I do almost every other day. Community engagements and advocating a green environment with my PrincessD Menstrual Cup.”
Others chose activities that would contribute to Mandela Day