South Africa 15.8.2018 03:03 pm

Ferial Haffajee going to Daily Maverick

Ferial Haffajee Photo: Supplied

Ferial Haffajee Photo: Supplied

The woman who became SA’s first black female editor of a national newspaper is the website’s new associate editor.

At Daily Maverick’s annual conference The Gathering, taking place on Wednesday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), it was announced that Ferial Haffajee would be joining the team at the online publication as their new associate editor.

“Ferial Haffajee is our latest recruit and joins us as associate editor,” Daily Maverick confirmed in its live coverage of The Gathering.

Haffajee was previously editor-at-large at Huffington Post SA, which recently ended its partnership with Media24, effectively spelling the end for the SA branch of the popular news website.

The writer and journalist told the Citizen that she has not left Media24 altogether, and will be dividing her time between Fin24 and Daily Maverick.

The local edition of Arianna Huffington’s publication was at the centre of controversy in 2017 when then editor Verashni Pillay published, and later defended, a column calling for white men to lose their right to vote.

The column turned out to be fake, having been written not, as it claimed, by a feminist academic called Shelley Garland, but rather by a white man called Marius Roodt, who said he was trying to prove a point about the “lack of fact-checking in South African journalism”.

Haffajee became editor of Financial Mail in 1997, making her the first black female editor in post-apartheid South Africa.

READ MORE: Mpofu tells journalist her ‘secrets’ aren’t safe with him

She went on to serve as editor of the Mail & Guardian and City Press, and has written books such as What If There Were No Whites in South Africa? and Real Beauty Jodi Bieber, a photography collection she co-authored.

She sits on the board of the International Press Institute and the World Editors’ Forum. Locally, she chairs the ethics and diversity committee of the National Editors’ Forum, which she sees as part of a role to “help train the next generation of women leaders in the media”.

Haffajee was recently listed by EFF leader Julius Malema as part of a “media mob”, with Malema saying she does not like criticism of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“You have a group of journalists such as Ranjeni [Munusamy], Ferial [Haffajee], Max du Preez, Karima Brown and the likes, that have grouped themselves into a mob that will attack you if you say anything about Ramaphosa,” said the leader of the red berets.

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