Billionaire businesswoman Magda Wierzycka said on Thursday she would stop tweeting following the blowback she received for an error in a tweet on Human Rights Day.
In what may turn out to be one of her last-ever tweets she thanked those who had followed her for the “right reasons” and pledged to keep working “behind the scenes”.
On Wednesday she had erroneously tweeted Sam Nzima’s iconic photograph of Hector Pieterson, which is usually shared to commemorate the 16th of June 1976, not the Sharpeville Massacre of 21 March 1960, which yesterday’s public holiday was in fact in honour of.
Nzima’s lawyers are also known to claim royalties for any unauthorised republication of the photo.
Wierzycka apologised for the historical error and tweeted the message again with a picture of Sharpeville. She later pointed out that the department of international relations’ Twitter account had made the same mistake using Nzima’s photograph and not faced nearly as much criticism.
On Thursday she told TimesLive that she would now “abandon Twitter”, which she said was a pity because Twitter was a platform where “many people in need reached out to me”.
She had also faced a backlash for having earlier tweeted that every household in the country should hire a “cleaning lady or gardener”. She deleted and apologised for that tweet too and pledged R200 000 for job creation.
Wierzycka is the CEO of Sygnia Asset Management, which has head offices in Sandton. She came to Africa as a Polish refugee with little English.
She is known for her outspoken attitudes on corruption in both the private and public sector.