Shashi Naidoo’s house under guard after Gaza outcry 'death threats'
Model and media personality Shashi Naidoo fears for her life and has hired personal security to monitor her home in the wake of major outrage surrounding comments about the unrest between Israel and Palestine over the weekend.
During a debate with a follower on Instagram, Shashi labelled Gaza a 'sh*thole' and seemed to be pro-Israeli. The comments went viral over the weekend and saw Shashi receive major backlash.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE the star claimed to have received several death threats in response to her comments.
"I think what people are seeing on my main page is one thing and what is going on in my DMs is another thing. I have been getting death threats and wishes that I get attacked. They have been sending me my address and saying they know where I live and mustn't sleep at night. I take full accountability for my comment but have security now at my home."
She said she would not take any action against the threats but instead apologised for the offence her comments have caused.
"I am deeply sorry. I have hurt people and people need to now express how they feel without me responding."
Shashi explained that she got into a debate over the long-standing Middle Eastern conflict after wanting to defend her friend Black Coffee, who was earlier this year criticised for performing in Israel, but made a mistake by asking another close friend to formulate a response for her.
"Me, not knowing enough, asked a friend who I thought knew the other side to draft up something I could send back to show there was more sides to a story. I barely looked at it and did not read it properly. I was not thinking. It is out of character but it is no excuse. I take full accountability for my actions. I must take the repercussions."
Shashi also apologised for the incident in a statement on social media, explaining that she tried to be smart in the debate but ended up making a mess of it.
It is with great humility that I step forward and not only accept, but again, sincerely and deeply apologise to all that I offended and hurt for my post in regard to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and my lack of understanding in my initial apology to the Muslim community. This should of been to the Palestinian people in the first instance, and broader society as a whole. I apologise unconditionally, but I would also like to this opportunity to explain what happened with regard to my recent Instagram posts. I posted a picture with a DJ recently in Ibiza and the post attracted commentary from another Instagram user because he had played in Israel. In what I believed was defense of him, I reached out to a friend to help articulate a response and offer a secondary point of view, as to be honest, I didn’t know much about the situation (although it sure must have looked otherwise). I stupidly copied and pasted the response verbatim in a feeble attempt to appear smart on social media without reading it comprehensibly (I know), thereby entering an issue of world importance, I had no real fundamental understanding of - my biggest mistake. There is no spin. This is the truth. I expressed his worldview as my own, and for that I will forever live with the consequences. I agree with the commentary that it not only highlighted my ignorance on the issue and the way it was handled, but also made me seem uncaring and indifferent to the suffering of any human on this planet. I in no way wish to make excuses or expect people to forgive me at this time. I messed up. I know that, and I take full accountability. All that I hope to achieve is to convey that I am sincerely sorry, and in a way thank every one who called me out, as I have learnt from this. No matter what ones beliefs are, there is always room for empathy and compassion. The last couple of days have shown me that there is a larger education that I need to undertake on issues facing humanity. I have read the commentary and will further not only educate, but re-educate myself . Words will never be enough to express how truly sorry I am. It will be in my actions going forward that I do better.
The star was labelled an "Apartheid sympathiser" for her original comments, and was dropped as an ambassador of Glampalm Africa and by a jewelry designer named Adila Dhorat.
She said she was upset that people would think of her as an "apartheid sympathiser".
"My heart is broken if people think that I condone what is happening. That is not me. I think ignorance is just as bad and I have been living in a bubble. I have had to learn very quickly."
The outcry comes only months after radio host Gareth Cliff was criticised for labelling Palestinians as "invaders" during a segment on his radio station, CliffCentral, after at least 60 Palestinians had been shot dead and thousands were injured after the Israeli defence force fired live ammunition on the Gaza border during a protest in May.