Faked ‘racism’ – MiWay to lay charges

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KHAYA KOKO khaya.koko@inl.co.za @khayakoko88

MiWAY WILL lay crim­i­nal charges and a civil suit against the client it be­lieves is re­spon­si­ble for the “ex­tremely fake” e-mail, which seem­ingly de­monises black people as “ba­boons”.

This was the warn­ing de­liv­ered by Rene Otto, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the in­surance com­pany.

Otto was re­act­ing to a screen grab of an e-mail which sur­faced on so­cial me­dia sites yes­ter­day, where a claims as­ses­sor at the firm is al­leged to have writ­ten that a man­agers meet­ing had re­solved to “re­ject 90% of claims made by black people as from August 1, 2017”.

“They (black people) are an easy tar­get, its also a great op­por­tu­nity to save money and also pun­ish these black ba­boons (sic).”

How­ever, a fum­ing Otto told The Star that the per­son re­spon­si­ble for this “ex­tremely fake e-mail” was a client of theirs, who had a claim re­jected as the as­ses­sor was not sat­is­fied with the ex­pla­na­tion for the claim.

There­fore, MiWay will, Otto stressed, deal with the client legally.

“We will take crim­i­nal and civil steps against this in­di­vid­ual,” said the chief ex­ec­u­tive.

“I haven’t ap­plied my mind as yet, but I can­not imag­ine that there isn’t some crim­i­nal con­se­quence here and, def­i­nitely, rep­u­ta­tional dam­age from a civil law point of view. We will also def­i­nitely take (civil) ac­tion,” Otto stressed.

He added that The Star had spo­ken to him an hour af­ter he got wind of the e-mail im­age, and had yet to dis­cuss how ex­actly they were go­ing to pro­ceed with the mooted le­gal ac­tion.

“Per­son­ally, I would love to lay crim­i­nal charges against some­one who does some­thing like this be­cause I can­not, in my wildest dreams, think that you can do some­thing like this and get away with it.”

Otto could not be drawn into either pro­vid­ing the iden­tity of the al­leged client, or de­tail­ing what the claim was for.

He did, how­ever, ex­plain how the in­surance firm de­duced who they be­lieved was the original source of the “fake” e-mail im­age, and how this was done.

“It goes back to a claim that we were val­i­dat­ing and, in the process of val­i­dat­ing, you of­ten send out e-mails to a client to ask for more in­for­ma­tion. So, we were not sat­is­fied with the client’s ex­pla­na­tion and we ended up not pay­ing the claim,” Otto ex­plained.

“The client ob­vi­ously got hold of an e-mail with a MiWay per­son’s e-mail sig­na­ture on it and was then able to ma­nip­u­late this thing.”

Asked whether the e-mail ad­dress that ap­pears in the im­age was in­deed a MiWay ad­dress, Otto said he could not com­ment be­cause he had yet to scru­ti­nise the im­age at the time of the in­ter­view.

But he was scathing about a re­porter he said put an im­age of the claims as­ses­sor’s Face­book pro­file on so­cial me­dia. The em­ployee was ad­vised by man­agers to move in with her par­ents due to the ha­rass­ment she was fac­ing.

“We are just a bit con­cerned, or maybe over­pro­tec­tive, but we would rather be safe than sorry. Her phys­i­cal ad­dress is now on so­cial me­dia – and there are people who might just do stupid things.”

We will take crim­i­nal and civil steps against this in­di­vid­ual

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