Itumeleng Mabeba: Case of a (un)hacked Twitter account?

Sarah Britten (@Anatinus) has written about Itumeleng Mabeba following racists Jessica’s and Tshidi’s rants on Twitter a few months back who, too, acted like an idiot on the social network Twitter.

In his response to Jessica who had called blacks baboons/monkeys (but not Tshidi who later responded that whites like Jessica should be killed), Itumeleng wished for her “to get raped with a broken glass of beer”. Ouch!

This confused Britten as she could not make sense of whether Itumeleng’s Twitter account was hacked as he later claimed or that it was in fact he who had written that tweet about Jessica. “If he has been hacked, then I feel incredibly sorry for him, because this is an exceptionally nasty case of sabotage at a time when racist tweeting is such a hot button issue (and so is gender-based violence). But if it hasn’t been hacked, what’s his excuse? Alcohol?” wondered a witty Britten on her blog. “If that’s the case, the guy clearly needs therapy”.

Writing a “Concerned Citizen” blog post on his blog on 8 May in response to the apparent hacking of his Twitter account, Itumeleng narrated how her mother had “warned” him of the “drawbacks of social networks” which he said he was “too stubborn to listen”. This was, he claimed, not until he “discovered that some haywire hacker hacked into my Twitter account and posted derogatory, racist statements using my name”.

“Upon discovering this, I decided to deactivate both my Twitter and Facebook accounts due to the influx of hate-speech messages I was receiving and mainly because of fear that this sick individual-who is clearly bereft of entertainment-might drag my name further down the mud”, wrote Itumeleng on his blog.

He has since reported this “unfortunate report” to the Midrand police. He has also asked his network service provider “to find out if the hacker can be traced” and that UNISA – where he presently studies – was also informed of this incident because of “fear(s)” that his examinations proceedings might be affected. “They [UNISA] promised to look into the matter”.

Despite his hacking claims, Britten could not help thinking that “there’s more going on here than a simple case of a hateful racist pig venting online”. She said there’s a “story behind those tweets” and that “whatever the truth, I hope it comes out”.

Like Britten – that’s if the hacking claims are true – Itumeleng also does “hope this idiot of a hacker gets caught and that justice is duly served” because, well, “you [just] never know who might be looking into hacking your account and destroying your name in the process.”

Personally and as mentioned on Twitter, and although I cannot explain nor prove why he’d go to this great length of catching this “idiot hack” – I can’t help myself to suspect that this case of a hacked Twitter account is an attempt by Itumeleng himself to trying to shift focus from him and these racist tweets under his name, only wanting us to focus on his alleged “idiot hacker” who may not exist at all.

What is not clear to date is whether Mabeba – an employee at Bidvest Magnum – has faced any internal disciplinary actions as the company’s managing director David Chrichton had reportedly said he would. Chrichton was quoted as saying: “I’m very distressed about the comment and we shall institute an internal inquiry”.

But echoing Britten’s suspicion, “whatever the truth, I hope it comes out” too.

This article was first published on my Facebook Notes on June 4.

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