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Chris Hart breaks his silence on controversial tweet

Mar 15 2016 18:30
Adiel Ismail

Cape Town - Chris Hart has responded in 10 tweets following his resignation from Standard Bank amid a disciplinary hearing against him over a tweet deemed to be racist.

Standard Bank said in an emailed response to Fin24 that Hart resigned as an Investment Strategist at Standard Bank Wealth and Investment.

When pressed for further comment, Standard Bank's spokesperson Ross Lindstrom said: "Standard Bank has said everything it has to say on these issue."

Hart was suspended on January 4 after coming under fire after he tweeted: "More than 25 years after apartheid ended, the victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities."

Standard Bank immediately distanced itself from his tweet, adding that the bank did not endorse the comments made.

On Tuesday, Hart took to Twitter once again, this time to issue a statement.

"I have voluntarily resigned from Std Bank in the wake of an unfortunate social media event at the start of the year."

He stated that although he has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing, it was his wish to pursue alternative opportunities.

"One of those opportunities is the establishment of an impact investment fund aimed at job creation but with higher returns & lower risk.

"Another opportunity is in consulting and speaking where some of the challenges facing the SA economy and business can be fully analyzed."

Hart noted that he is convinced South Africa remains a high potential country if socio-economic challenges are successfully addressed through appropriate policy.

"I strongly believe that a key cause of socio-economic problems is massive unemployment & job creation should be the top policy priority."

He said the country's challenges are not insurmountable as long as the constitution remains intact with the rights and freedoms for protection and benefit of all South Africans.

"My engagement on Twitter is always to generate healthy and robust debate. It is also intended that we gain an understanding of issues and each other. There is no monopoly on right and being offensive is regrettable and unintended."

Hart told Fin24 his tweet "was gravely misunderstood".

He said it was conflated with the racists remarks made by Penny Sparrow on her Facebook profile.

The KwaZulu-Natal estate agent described black beachgoers as "monkeys" in an apparent reaction to litter left behind after New Year’s celebrations.

"The whole thing was conflated and misunderstood. It was taken completely out of context. Certainly no racism was intended."

Hart left Standard Bank by mutual agreement and he said that the details were confidential.

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chris hart  |  sa economy

 
 
 
 

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