Webinar with SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago disrupted with racial slur and defamatory allegation

24 May 2020 - 21:20 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago came under attack during a webinar on Sunday evening.
SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago came under attack during a webinar on Sunday evening.
Image: FREDDY MAVUNDA

A webinar with SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago was disrupted on Sunday evening, with a participant using a racial slur and making defamatory accusations against him.

The event, hosted by economist Thabi Leoka, also featured Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko, Transet group CEO Portia Derby and former politician Mamphela Ramphele.

The webinar, titled The Socio-Economic Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on South Africa, was scheduled to happen from 6pm to 7:30pm on Sunday via the Zoom conferencing app.

During the event, defamatory accusations came up repeatedly in reams and reams of lines on the chat function. The hacker also used the N-word, saying, “you [N-word] lookin nice.”

Leoka said the incident did not really disrupt the event.

“The hacking did not affect the audio and video. I was not aware of it until someone alerted me,” she told TimesLIVE.

She said none of the participants said anything about the incident.

Asked what Kganyago's response was, Leoka said: “He did not say anything about it. We didn't know about it. It didn't disrupt anything.”

A Telkom official who did not want to be named said technically, it was not a hack because the person who wrote the comments had joined legitimately.

“The webinar was widely advertised. It was someone who just decided to be unruly.”

He said the chat section of the webinar was shut down after the incident.

SA Reserve Bank spokesperson Leisel Radebe referred requests for comment to the organisers.

* This story was amended since it was first published to remove the details of the defamatory accusations.

The advert for the webinar that was hacked.
The advert for the webinar that was hacked.
Image: Supplied

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