Professor Phakeng and Adriaan Basson.

Professor Phakeng and Adriaan Basson. Images via Twitter @Joy_Zelda and @AdriaanBasson

Mzansi drags Adriaan Basson for ‘no fashion’ tweet about Phakeng

Tweeps, media, political personalities dragged News24 editor Adriaan Basson for his ‘no fashion, or dancing’ tweet about Professor Phakeng.

Professor Phakeng and Adriaan Basson.

Professor Phakeng and Adriaan Basson. Images via Twitter @Joy_Zelda and @AdriaanBasson

South Africans, celebrities, journalists, and political personalities defended Professor Phakeng after News24 editor Adriaan Basson for his fashion and dancing tweets about the former UCT vice-chancellor. 

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The News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson tweets directed at former UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng sparks fury.

Basson took to Twitter on Tuesday, 15 March to criticise Phakeng’s fashion and dancing videos that the former vice-chancellor previously shared on social media.

@AdriaanBasson: “No fashion or dancing videos while Rome is burning. Refreshing change at @UCT_news.”

In his tweet, Basson accused Phakeng of posting about fashion, dancing, and boxing gloves while the university was shutting down due to protests.

The tweet gained over a million views, hundreds of retweets, and comments slamming Basson for allegedly mocking Phakeng.

Media personalities such asf Eusebius McKaiser, Dj Fresh, Aldrin Sampear, Thembisa Nxumalo Bonang, and Chriselda Lewis joined in the conversation and called Basson out for his statement.

Aldrin Sampear commented, “No man Adriaan. This is yet another example of how the conduct of newsroom managers further diminishes the confidence the news audience has in the media. It is also detrimental to the relationship between your foot soldiers and newsmakers.”

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The News24 editor Adriaan Basson changed his tune and later apologised for his remarks about the former UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

“I apologise if my tweet caused hurt or created the wrong impression that a VC [vice-chancellor] can’t lead and have fun at once. That was not the point I was trying to make,” he wrote.

The vice-chancellor left her UCT post on 3 March after a settlement between her and the university’s council. The parties reached an agreement to avoid more acrimony and wrangling, and a possible suspension.

Basson also justified his first tweet and said stating student protests erupted at UCT on 24 February at the time when Phakeng was still in charge of the institution.

“I have learnt [that] this platform doesn’t tolerate any criticism of Prof Phakeng, and I will stay in my lane and await the finalisation of the Mpati Commission’s report,” he wrote.

Phakeng also clapped back and said Basson announced her retirement from the university on 22 February..

“If anything had burnt, you would have been the first to report that, but you didn’t, because you knew I was the last person to blame,” wrote Phakeng.

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