Black First, Land First (BLF) spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp had his Twitter account suspended on Wednesday.
While the party’s leader, Andile Mngxitama, has dominated headlines to a greater degree than Maasdorp, the party’s spokesperson has also been the subject of controversy in the past, particularly for a comment posted on both Facebook and Twitter in 2016, saying: “I have aspirations to kill white people, and this must be achieved!”
While many of Maasdorp’s opinions on social media could be considered controversial, the exact tweet or tweets that got him suspended this time around are not yet certain.
However, the suspension does not seem to have deterred Maasdorp, who has simply set up a new Twitter account and continued to publish his views.
While the account @LindsayMaasdorp remains suspended, he can be followed on his new account, @Linday_BLF. The account had already tweeted 53 times at the time of publication of this article.
So far, on his new account, he has expressed his view that the queen of England should be arrested for “making off with the Cullinan Diamond,” shown support for former president Jacob Zuma’s calls for nationalisation of banks, mines and monopoly industry, weighed in on the suspension of Power FM’s JJ Tabane and expressed outrage at Australian cartoonist Mark Knight’s cartoon that has been widely slammed for its depiction of Serena Williams.
He also addressed his suspension using his new account, confirming it and noting that he had appealed. He said he believed his appeal was unlikely to be successful and he expected the account to be permanently blocked.
He has not gotten back to The Citizen despite several attempts to contact him.
Some of Maasdorp’s supporters have expressed their view that his suspension is as a result of ‘white monopoly capital’ attempting to censor him.
Earlier this week, Maasdorp made the news when he published stats on Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) advertising spend in an attempt to prove that “white media” companies had benefited from the state more than the now-defunct Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper did.
“Let’s take ourselves seriously, ilk of Koos Bekker force government to put your pension into Naspers so he can poison you with anti-Gupta propaganda!” Maasdorp exclaimed in his Twitter thread.
According to the statistics cited by Maasdorp, GCIS spent 52% of their advertising in the 2010/2011 period on Naspers as opposed to 0.6% on the New Age. In subsequent years, the amount of money spent on Naspers lessened to 35% in 2011/2012 and then 27% in 2012/2013.
Spending on The New Age, on the other hand, rose sharply from 0.6% in 2010/2011 to 14% in 2011/2012. GCIS spent 10% of their budget on The New Age in 2012/2013.
While Maasdorp sees these figures as a vindication of his argument that government had supported “white media” more than the Guptas, an article on BusinessTech has suggested the amount spent by the government on The New Age was very “skewed” relative to its readership figures.
Maasdorp’s figures have not been verified and attempts by The Citizen to contact the GCIS were unsuccessful, particularly after we encountered a man who answered the phone saying “we don’t entertain journalists here”.
Maasdorp also used the term “invested,” which some may find misleading as the tweets refer not to money GCIS invested in companies, as such, but to advertising spending.
Other users have taken to Twitter to provide figures, also unverified, that show the government spent millions on The New Age.