Mondli Madlala‚ the man behind a racist fake email which resulted in a MiWay employee being threatened with death‚ has composed a song to apologise for his actions.
The song titled “Apologies”‚ in which Madlala expresses his regret to the insurer‚ two employees and South Africa.
Madlala‚ after being outed following intensive investigations‚ apologised in person to the insurer and claims assessor Aarthi Roopnarain‚ whom he came face to face with on eNCA’s current affairs programme Checkpoint last week.
The entrepeneur‚ who according to MiWay CEO René Otto‚ holds three jobs‚ sang the song which is meant to supplement his apology. It is believed he has a musical background.
The email – which was widely circulated on social media and supposedly sent by Roopnarain last month – claimed that following an internal meeting‚ the insurance company agreed that 90% of claims made by black people would be rejected as of August 1.
The fake email went on to say: “They are an easy target and is also a great opportunity to save money and also punish these black baboons.”
It evoked widespread vitriol on social media platforms and saw some MiWay clients cancelling their policies‚ this even after the insurer said that no such meeting took place and an internal investigation revealed it was a fake email.
An external investigation confirmed that the email was fabricated.
MiWay‚ in a statement following the incident last month‚ stated that it had rejected the “policyholder’s insurance claim because conditions were not adhered to.
“The Ombudsman for short-term insurance had upheld MiWay’s decision.
Roopnarain told TimesLive on Monday that she had accepted Madlala’s apology – despite “my life being turned upside down”.
“I think he has put himself out there and has taken responsibility. Maybe this is his way of expressing how sorry he is‚” she said of the song.
“I met him for the first time ever on the Checkpoint show. I worked on his claim but I hadn’t met him in person‚ we had only spoken on the phone.
“I was quite emotional and taken aback. When I heard it was him‚ I was shocked. He was so respectful and there was no animosity over the phone.
“As a claim assessor you generally get threats and complaints but nothing to this extent.
“This went overboard and out of control.
“People sent abusive and threatening messages via social media platforms. I was stuck at home‚ there were armed guards outside my home. I had protection for about a week‚ they even accompanied me to shop.
“People are still going on about this issue. People are claiming that we paid Madlala to apologise‚ which is nonsense.”
Roopnarain said she was no longer fearful because her name had been cleared.
Madlala posted on Facebook: “I cannot take back what happened‚ I apologise. I have produced a song apologising to the nation of South Africa‚ Miway‚ Aarthi and Nobu. The title of the song is Apologies.”
Listen to the Song:
In the joint statement with MiWay‚ Madlala said: “I apologise sincerely for my actions. I acted impulsively and without any thought to how this post would spiral out of control. I have learnt how dangerous social media can be‚ if misused‚ especially in South Africa. I also realise that I put the two MiWay employees in danger and I plan to meet with them‚ to apologise again in person.”
Otto said he had accepted Madlala’s apology during a meeting on July 27‚ “because I regarded it as sincere”. “We accept the song as a gesture of good will‚ in a spirit of reconciliation. We see it as a sincere attempt to make amends for his irrational behaviour. We hope the song goes viral and in time overshadows the anger and hurt caused by the fake racist email.
“We believe there is a greater opportunity for Mr Madlala to teach others from his experience‚” said Otto.
Madlala has agreed to speak publicly against racism and the dangers of social media as part of MiWay’s corporate social investment programmes.