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BEE Novation Statement on Misquoted Webinar Guest, Dumisani Mpafa

Image by Enrique Alarcon

BEE Novation notes the Politicsweb article titled, “Burning down the house to get rid of the white mice” by William Saunderson-Meyer, published May 22nd. It concerns the speech given at our webinar the previous day (“Is B-BBEE Relevant During COVID-19?”) by Mr. Dumisani Mpafa, CEO of B-BBBEE auditor, BEEVER Agency.

Mr. Mafa was invited to speak briefly about the work being done by the industry body Association of B-BBEE Professionals in the transformation landscape during the pandemic. Unless we missed something — and the recording does buffer at points — where he is said to
have addressed audiences as “comrades”, he said colleagues. Where Saunderson-Meyer quotes Mpafa saying, “We are dealing with a solid economic architecture, so strong, unless something drastic happens, you can’t sabotage it. You’ve got to bring it to its knees and start afresh,” Saunderson-Meyer omits Mpafa’s words, “…it simply reproduces racial inequality and of course there are voices that would argue…” from the middle of that quote.

The part about bringing the economy to its knees and starting afresh isn’t Mpafa’s own opinion, but an opinion he’s rightly disturbed to have heard from others. Mr. Mpafa’s words could have been done more justice to had quote-within-quotes punctuation been used for clarity. What’s been written, then, doesn’t merely alter the meaning of Mpafa’s words: it reverses it.

The title of Saunderson-Meyer’s article (which could have been the work of a sub-editor) could lead to the retaliatory provocation of race-based violence from one side of society because it imputes its intent to members of the other.

As BEE Novation, we kindly urge Saunderson-Meyer and Politicsweb to quickly attend to this unfortunate situation.


Siya Khumalo
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Siya Khumalo
Siya Khumalo
After being reprimanded at a genteel dinner party for “talking about religion, politics and sex in polite company,” Siya Khumalo decided to do nothing else with his life. He charts out the socio-economic ramifications of how we move through these three areas by writing political commentary and making vlogs (“video blogs”). Some of his posts get half a million global reads in less than a week; other pieces get featured on Daily Maverick, Rand Daily Mail and other publications, attracting interviews on eNCA, PowerFM and similar media channels. He seemed an experimental fit for BEE Novation, and he has a book about to hit a shelf near you. His views on how day-to-day business and political events affect the transformation and BEE landscapes will be available on the BEE Novation website.