Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
19 Mar 2021
2:33 pm

Madonsela dragged for comment on N-word saga

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Former public protector has been trending since Thursday as people criticise her for her thoughts on Habib matter.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Supplied

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has been subject of criticism on social media after commenting on the new developments on academic Adam Habib.

The University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) said on Thursday that its director Habib will step aside from his role to allow the full investigation into his use of the N-word during a webinar with students last week.

“As chair of the board, I have agreed with director Adam Habib that he will step aside while this investigation takes place, so as not to compromise the investigation,” said Marie Staunton, chair of SOAS Board of Trustees in a statement.

“We will continue to find ways to facilitate the mediated conversations and engagement – including with Adam – that centre the Black community and the SOAS community broadly, in ways that also do not compromise the process of the investigation.”

In response to the announcement, Madonsela said before watching Habib’s video: “In thinking he was entitled to use the N-Word as a generically black South African, Adam Habib may have lacked the social intelligence required in his new environment, but the vitriolic campaign from elements from his own country, seemingly to settle old scores, is sad to watch.

“I know he cares about social justice including the capitalisation of students and communities that remain historically disadvantaged. That’s why we have him as one of our Social Justice Champions.”

After watching the video, Madonsela said it only confirmed her thoughts on the matter.

This response did not sit well with South Africans, who questioned which environment allowed Habib to use the N-word.

ALSO READ: ‘I am sorry to have caused this controversy’, says Habib on n-word saga

The professor has been trending since Thursday as people criticise her for her thoughts on the matter.

Asked Tumi Sole: “What’s a generically black? On ‘lacked the social intelligence required in his new environment’, in which environment is that ok? He was corrected but sought to justify that the use of the N-word is acceptable in SA.”

“Adam Habib lacked the social intelligence required not only in his new environment Prof, but required anywhere on this earth! The use of the N-word regardless shows a lack of understanding history! It is only used by ignorant people, or racists! Is he ignorant or a racist?” said Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.