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Mon Sep 26 07:23:48 SAST 2016

Wrong number has Pretoria man catching flak in Penny Sparrow racism debacle

Jeff Wicks | 04 January, 2016 17:24
File photo.
Image by: MIKE SEGAR / REUTERS

An unfortunate Pretoria IT technician found himself on the receiving end of a social media backlash, after his phone number was confused with that of a central figure in the Penny Sparrow racism debacle.

Sparrow had taken to Facebook and described black beachgoers as "monkeys", in an apparent reaction to litter left after New Year’s celebrations.

Clayton Ackerman says that he has a cellphone number very similar to that of Jawitz Property CEO Herschel Jawitz - only a one digit difference - and from early on Monday morning had been catching flak.

"A man phoned me at 7:00 already asking me what I was going to do with my racist employee. I told him he had the wrong number and he seemed to understand, but the others didn’t," he said.

Jawitz earlier said Sparrow left the company two months ago.

"So many people have been Whatsapping directly, sending me pictures of monkeys and I had no idea what was going on," Ackerman added.

Eventually, realising his trolls were looking for Jawitz, he called the property company, who explained the furore.

"I don’t read the newspapers so when I phoned Jawitz to see what was going on, they told me and I saw the story was so massive. I just want people to dial the right number," he said.

Source: News24

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