Author and social justice activist Jackie Phamotse has been accused of plagiarism by fellow writer, social commentator, and activist Malaika Mahlatsi.
This after Phamotse allegedly copied and pasted the words of another social media user and attempted to pass them off as her own. Phamotse has since deleted the plagiarised tweet.
Armed with screenshots as proof of this transgression, Mahlatsi took to Facebook to call out Phamotse while highlighting the original author.
Mahlatsi further explained the process one should follow when repurposing someone else’s words and expressed her disappointment at the fact that an author would do such a thing.
In response, Phamotse immediately went on the defensive, threatening legal action if Mahlatsi did not take the post down.
“Good day, Malaika. I believe you saw my post and it seems like you certainly did not read the entire thread. Now you throw your cheap shots at me online. You could have approached me if you didn’t have the opportunity to see the entire thread before it was removed. However, if that’s how you want to behave that’s fine. I would advise you remove your post before we take this further.
“I will not be a fool but at this point, I don’t take my name likely. I know Linda Yende personally and if he has a problem with the entire thread, he can call me and I’ll gladly address this matter with him. However, I don’t owe you anything so your opinion means nothing to me. However, defaming me online and discrediting my work – that’s a legal matter. I strongly suggest you deal with this ASAP. Regards Jackie Phamotse,” commented Phamotse.
Mahlatsi responded: “Jackie Phamotse you are very brave. You have the audacity to covertly threaten Linda because YOU plagiarised his post? I don’t know if you actually know the rules for referencing, but you don’t copy someone’s post and then reference them in the comments section. When you copy and paste something, you put it in inverted commas (ie closed quotation) and then you put a dash, followed by their full name. You don’t copy and paste and then acknowledge source in the middle of a thread. That is still lack of intellectual integrity.”
She then proceeded to caution Phamotse against making further threats before adding that she would not be taking the post down.
Phamotse ended the interaction with a curt: “Thanks, let’s deal with this legally. We will be in contact soon.”
Mahlatsi’s Facebook friends rallied behind her and offered to collectively foot her legal bills should Phamotse press on with the matter.
When contacted for comment, Phamotse called her exchange with Mahlatsi unfortunate and said that she did not know who Mahlatse was.
“It’s so unfortunate that people want to focus on issues with no context. Nor did they read the entire thread and my opinion. The purpose of me using the quote was to enforce the spirit of losing everything and trying again. I still stand by what the context of the quote was about,” said Phamotse.
“Somizi is an icon and a very resilient human and we will continue to cheer him on. Women like breaking others down so they look ‘right’ in the eyes of those they desperately try to please. I will also support people who have worked hard to get somewhere. I will not be part of breaking people down – that’s not who I am nor what I stand for. Social media platforms should be used positively and that’s what my post was about. I will not entertain people that only see the bad in me, nor want to take away from my work.”
Phamoste said that she also “knows better” due to having three best-selling books and awards under her belt.
“I don’t know this human nor do have interest in who she is. I will stay in my lane and continue the rightful work that I do as a social activist and bestselling author. I am in the process of developing my movie and such things are a waste of time,” concluded Phamotse.
Phamotse was also sued last year by Basetsana and Romeo Kumalo after some unsavoury insinuations and allegations she tweeted about were attributed to the couple by scores of Phamotse’s followers.
Last June, magistrate Helen Banks ruled that Phamotse harassed Basetsana, and ordered the author to not make any comments on social media about the Kumalos or face arrest. The magistrate ordered the author to remove other posts about the couple.
The court granted the Khumalos a protection order, stating Phamotse would not speak publicly about them.
Should Phamotse fail to comply with the protection order, she could face jail time.