Fired for racist Facebook remarks

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Copy of st e2sec fired.JPG Facebook Backlash: The post that got Vivienne Basson into trouble. Picture: Facebook

Johannesburg - Vivienne Basson was fired from her job on Tuesday after posting racist remarks on her Facebook account.

The 43-year-old, who worked as a project manager for Ericsson South Africa, put up a status saying: “Effing k***** taxi. And once again I vote for the death penalty. These savages don’t deserve to live. But more importantly Daniel is alive and I am alive. They can rot in hell.”

Attached to the status update were three pictures of her silver car with a dent in the bumper.

A screen shot of the post went viral and enraged many Twitter users.

After the negative backlash, which included outraged tweets to her employer, Basson put up another post in which she apologised for her “unnecessary and hurtful remarks”.

“My intention was not to be insensitive nor derogatory.”

Basson then attempted to explain her remarks in a follow-up post.

“During the course of one year almost to the day, my son and I have been victims of two forceful hit-and-run taxi accidents + unlawful entry into our home with robbery of all our valuables + aggressive physical armed assault, where we (were) shot at, at point blank range.”

Disgusted at Basson’s statements, Twitter user @mandisi87 said: “Hlaudi Motsoeneng first person to pray for should be Vivienne Catherine Basson. These Nazi-style utterances shouldn’t be allowed in RSA.”

Her sentiments were echoed by @Uhnkle: “Have no idea who Vivienne Catherine Basson is but there are MANY others like her. Too many.”

Basson asked people to walk in her shoes before they pontificated. She said she was not a racist and knew the difference between “a good person and a savage”.

The @ericsson Twitter account trended all around the country as Twitter users demanded Basson be fired immediately for her discriminatory and racist remarks.

Ericsson responded on the microblogging site, saying: “We appreciate all your comments. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination and are investigating the matter.”

A few hours later, they followed up on the tweet, saying: “The subcontractor in question has breached our code of ethics and is no longer working for us.”

Basson’s situation mirrors South African-born, US-based PR executive Justine Sacco’s faux pas. She was fired from IAC, a leading media company, after she caused a Twitter storm by tweeting: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get Aids. Just kidding. I’m white.” - The Star

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