Fake blog writer is from Benoni

Marius Roodt, also known as Shelley Garland.

Roodt was recently interviewed by Huffington Post South Africa, during which he confessed to writing the blog titled ‘Could it be time to deny white men the franchise?’.

The former learner of Arbor Primary and Benoni High schools wrote the piece under the pseudonym Shelley Garland and said he sent it to Huffington Post and the Daily Maverick.

According to Roodt, the Daily Maverick did not accept the blog, but Huffington Post did.

The former Rynfield resident said he wrote the piece to showcase the lack of fact-checking among journalists in South Africa.

What do you think of Marius Roodt’s fake blog? Send your letters to bctletters@caxton.co.za

“I said in my piece that whites own 90 per cent of land in South Africa. That isn’t true. And 97 per cent of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange isn’t owned by whites,” Roodt said.

The blog dealt with the unfair distribution of wealth in South Africa and the world, saying white men still occupy most positions of power and privilege.

The piece called for the voting rights of white men to be lifted for about 20 years, to address the disparity and repair the damage done by slavery, colonialism and apartheid.

During his video interview with Huffington Post, Roodt said he feels race relations in South Africa are better than is often portrayed.

“I think what happens in real life is better than what happens on Twitter, to be honest,” he said.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for it to go where it did, there was no intention to go after Verashni (Pillay, editor-in-chief of Huffington Post).

“Maybe I did raise some good points about journalism in South Africa. I’ve seen some journalists saying it should never have been published because it was a silly piece, and it was a silly piece.”

Roodt worked as a researcher at the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE), in Parktown and resigned on April 19.

Ann Bernstein, director of CDE, said the company accepted his resignation with immediate effect.

“This kind of activity contradicts everything we stand for, is completely contrary to CDE’s media policy and our ethos as an organisation,” Bernstein said.


Also read:

Pardon my politics: The importance of politics

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