MiWay email hoax: "It was absolutely amazing just how much traction this got"

MiWay insurance has distanced itself from an email screenshot in which black clients are referred to as 'baboons'. In the fake email, an official purportedly reminds a colleague about a decision not to take 90% of the claims from black clients.

Social media expert Emma Sadleir talks to Mandy Wiener about the incident on The Midday Report.

It was absolutely amazing just how much traction this got. When I tweeted last night that this was so obviously fake, I got a lot of hate from everybody out there saying, how can you say it's fake, it's clearly real until it's been proved that it's not real.

Emma Sadleir, social media expert

She says it was so obviously fake with the 'author' of the email was not in management, was not even a claims assessor, the dates were incorrect, the fonts were wrong and more.

But still, the amount of harm that was done and the traction of people being called upon to cancel their MiWay policies on the basis that it's a racist company is extraordinary.

Emma Sadleir, social media expert

She wonders how many people will cancel their policies.

MiWay revealed that a disgruntled client was behind the bogus email.

It's believed the client was unhappy because MiWay did not pay his claim and he used an old email from an insurance official to fabricate the racist email.

The CEO says the insurance company will be pursuing legal action.

Sadleir says MiWay as a company has a reputation, and can sue for defamation "which is loss of reputation".

Because this was motivated by malice, in most instances you can also sue to recover legal costs, money that's lost as a result of the defamation campaign, related PR costs...

Emma Sadleir, social media expert

Also notable is the identification of a real person in the email, who works at MiWay, she adds. The woman's name and even physical address were widely shared on social media. This could result in infringement of privacy claim and one of crimen injuria.

I think the main reason people turn to the internet for these revenge campaigns is because people think they can genuinely be anonymous.

Emma Sadleir, social media expert

Also Read: Disgruntled client behind hoax email - MiWay CEO

And staying anonymous is very difficult, she concludes.

Sadleir also discusses a recent phone scam doing the rounds.

Take a listen to the interview below:


This article first appeared on 702 : MiWay email hoax: "It was absolutely amazing just how much traction this got"


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Steinhoff announces 2016 financial to be restated

Steinhoff announces 2016 financial to be restated

The beleaguered group is already under investigation in Germany for what’s being called ‘accounting irregularities’.

Cases against President Zuma keep piling up as DA adds perjury to the list

Cases against President Zuma keep piling up as DA adds perjury to the list

Associate Prof of Law at Wits James Grant says this could drive civil society organisations to increasingly challenge the law.

UN: Suicide bombers are using 'upper' and 'downer' drugs before attacks

UN: Suicide bombers are using 'upper' and 'downer' drugs before attacks

The UN Drug and Crime Enforcement Agency has found drugs like Tramadol and Captagon in the pockets of suicide bombers.

Palestine lobbying international leaders to reject Trump's statement

Palestine lobbying international leaders to reject Trump's statement

In SA, Pro-Palestine demonstrators marched to Parliament to denounce Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

France exploring ways to assist City of Cape Town with water crisis

France exploring ways to assist City of Cape Town with water crisis

Xanthea Limberg says no formal agreement has been reached but it looks forward to talks and learning more from France.

Disgruntled client behind hoax email - MiWay CEO

Disgruntled client behind hoax email - MiWay CEO

MiWay CEO Rene Otto has described a bogus email, in which black clients are referred to as 'baboons', as "fake news on steroids".

Popular articles
Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Watch the Guptas pack their bags and run in Nando's inspiring new advertisement.

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

In 2012 Steinhoff acquired 20% of wealth manager PSG, reportedly infuriating Mouton. Bruce Whitfield interviews him.

[LISTEN] Sara-Jayne King overjoyed at finding her biological father

[LISTEN] Sara-Jayne King overjoyed at finding her biological father

After a 702/ CapeTalk interview, the author of the autobiographical book Killing Karoline spoke to her dad for the first time.

[LISTEN] Caller challenges Eusebius on land disposition

[LISTEN] Caller challenges Eusebius on land disposition

‘I need you to provide me with an answer' - John from Edenvale, Gauteng

Number of South Africans visiting the seaside has dropped

Number of South Africans visiting the seaside has dropped

Fedhasa's CEO is encouraging South Africans to take a look at the specials that are currently out there and make their bookings.

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

Entrepreneur Max Lichaba built his own empire and is the CEO of Lichaba Creations and several other businesses. This is his story.