South Africa

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

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

A webinar with SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago was disrupted on Sunday evening, with a participant using a racial slur and repeatedly accusing the governor of being a rapist.

The event, organised 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, the words, “U'RE A RAPIST, LESETJA” 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 was not immediately available to comment.