Citizen Reporter
Reporter
3 minute read
20 Jun 2018
11:40 am

Shashi Naidoo heading to Palestine to learn about Israel conflict

Citizen Reporter

The model says she wants to use her fame to draw attention to the plight of oppressed people in Gaza.

Model and social media influencer Shashi Naidoo breaks down during a press conference, 20 June 2018, in Johannesburg, where she indicated she will go on a “fact-finding mission” to Palestine after a social media backlash after she referred to Gaza as a “shithole” in an Instagram comment that went viral. According to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign in South Africa (BDS-SA) — a pro-Palestinian movement — Naidoo described her upcoming trip as a “journey of educating herself”. Picture: Michel Bega

At a joint media briefing with Boycott, Investment and Sanctions (BDS) SA, the SA Council of Churches and Shashi Naidoo it was confirmed that Shashi Naidoo will be embarking on a fact-finding trip to Palestine and Israel to learn more about the struggles faced by Palestinians in the occupied territories and elsewhere.

She will then give a report-back on what she finds.

Naidoo faced a massive backlash over the weekend for posting messages that strongly favoured Israel.

Model and social media influencer Shashi Naidoo breaks down during a press conference, 20 June 2018, in Johannesburg, where she indicated she will go on a “fact-finding mission” to Palestine after a social media backlash after she referred to Gaza as a “shithole” in an Instagram comment that went viral. According to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign in South Africa (BDS-SA) — a pro-Palestinian movement — Naidoo described her upcoming trip as a “journey of educating herself”. Picture: Michel Bega

A very apologetic Naidoo later said: “I stupidly copied and pasted the response [of a friend] verbatim in a feeble attempt to appear smart on social media without reading it comprehensibly (I know), thereby entering an issue of world importance I had no real fundamental understanding of – my biggest mistake.

“Words will never be enough to express how truly sorry I am. It will be in my actions going forward that I do better.”

BDS SA’s national coordinator Muhammed Desai said they had accepted Naidoo’s apology and respected her for her humility and honesty in her response.

He concluded that one of the biggest lessons of the saga was that one shouldn’t “cut and paste”.

The 37-year old TV presenter, actress, television presenter, model, MC, entrepreneur and fashion blogger was blasted for being “extremely uninformed” after expressing her views on Israel and Palestine on Instagram in defence of DJ Black Coffee’s decision to tour in Israel.

She said at the press conference that she’d had a “tough couple of days” and said she accepted the consequences of her actions, including losing support.

Model and social media influencer Shashi Naidoo is seen at a press conference, 20 June 2018, in Johannesburg, where she indicated she will go on a “fact-finding mission” to Palestine after a social media backlash after she referred to Gaza as a “shithole” in an Instagram comment that went viral. According to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign in South Africa (BDS-SA) — a pro-Palestinian movement — Naidoo described her upcoming trip as a “journey of educating herself”. Picture: Michel Bega

“I made a public apology, and part of that apology is to educate myself and to re-educate myself.

“I do have a voice, it’s the only thing I have left. I can use that in a positive way.”

She said she’d use her voice to discuss the humanitarian issues she would be learning about, along with what she had already learnt about Gaza in particular over the past 24 hours.

Naidoo added that she was now far more aware of the challenges facing Palestinians and could not “unsee it”.