In an unfortunate incident of road rage yesterday, A biker was shot and killed in Honeydew, Johannesburg South Africa. Although I will not comment on the incident myself as I don’t have enough information around the circumstances, I will however comment on a rather intellectually challenged individual named Thegandra Naidoo. https://www.facebook.com/thegandra.naidoo?fref=ts
Thegandra Naidoo is a motoring journalist here in South Africa who works for a magazine called ABR automotive business review and a web based radio program called BizRadio and this is what he had to say about the road rage incident that cost the life of a motorcyclist:
‘I don’t blame the guy that shot the motorcyclist. They are obnoxious and arrogant. I cannot wait for my day to come when I will open my door and a motorcyclist will fly off his bike and hopefully break his neck!’
Now Mr Thegandra, firstly you have to be a bit thick in the head to make generalizations such as that. Secondly, you are wishing for motorcyclists to break their necks, yet you are a motoring journalist? Wow. You claim to have started your motoring journalism career as a motorsport photographer. Did you by any chance take pictures of professional motorcycle racing? If you did photograph motorcycles maybe you would have seen the talent that the riders have, not to mention the bravery. Maybe you would admire the machinery and come to understand why millions of people around the world purchase motorcycles. Are we ALL obnoxious? Is Valentino Rossi obnoxious? The Harley owners group? The Doctor and father of 3 admiring South Africa’s countryside on his GS? No I think the only person who is obnoxious and arrogant here is you my friend.
I would have expected comments like yours to arise on the internet from some 155kg troll who lives in his moms basement and stuffs down Doritos all day long. But these comments have come from someone who is a ‘motoring journalist’? I am shocked, and I am not the only one as can be seen on various social networks such as Ignition TV’s Facebook page.
We could get really nasty here but listen up… You can apologize to the family of the deceased and retract your small-minded comments, or you can carry on living your pathetic hate-filled life. I think I am safe in saying you have deeply offended the biking community, and that is one community I would not want to offend.
I am only getting started here so let me just take a break and give you a chance to respond then we can move forward from there.
Tick Tock Thegandra, we are waiting to hear what you have to say…
If you would like to raise your concerns on this issue we recommend contacting the publication for which he works for, or contacting the South African Guild of motoring journalists (SAGMJ).
Thegandra Naidoo’s letter of apology received today (16/02/2014):
In light of my insensitive comments made about bikers, I wish to apologise to all motorcycle owners in South Africa.
My comments were unwarranted and I did not consider that a large number of people commute on motorcycles and motorists, too, pose a threat to their livelihood on a daily basis.
I understand that all bikers are infuriated at my Facebook post. Rightfully so, they have every reason to do so. While we cannot change what has been done, I publicly apologise to everyone that I have offended.
I have already posted an apology note on my Facebook and Twitter and I will continue to do so via the various websites, forums and channels.
I am hoping we can resolve this matter amicably and bring the matter to closure. I also do sympathise with the family who lost their loved one in the shooting along Malibongwe Drive. May his soul rest in peace.
If any biker wants to contact me, they are welcome to send me an email –email@example.com or via telephone – 071 867 8141.
Automotive Business Review statement received (17/02/2014):
It was with deep shock and regret that I discovered that one of our editors, Thegandra Naidoo, had made intemperate comments on his Facebook page. Whilst these comments were made after office hours and by Mr Naidoo in his personal capacity, and apparently in the heat of the moment, I simply cannot condone such behaviour and Mr Naidoo has been placed on leave of absence, with immediate notice.
I shall be conducting a full investigation into this incident, and hope to come to a decision about Mr Naidoo’s future participation in Automotive Business Review (aBr) within a couple of days. I wish to make this decision in the cold light of day, rather than from my current emotional perspective, because I myself have a daughter and son-in-law who are bikers.
In the interim, I wish to apologise unreservedly to the family of Mr Pearce, a husband, a son, and a father who was needlessly killed in a road rage incident; the entire biking community of South Africa; the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists; our valued clients and customers and members of the public.
I also wish to make it quite clear that Automotive Business Review, and its entire staff complement, distance ourselves entirely and without reserve from the comments made by Mr Naidoo. aBr finds his comments repulsive, unprofessional, and extremely distressing. It is a clear sign of emotional immaturity, which shall be taken into consideration when considering Mr Naidoo’s future. The team at aBr wish to express our sincerest regret at the situation, and we shall endeavour to find ways to atone for the sins of Mr Naidoo.
Publisher, Automotive Business Review
Monday 17 February 2014
Automotive Business Review statement recieved (18/02/2014):
Yesterday I announced that I would come to decision about Mr Thegandra Naidoo’s future at Automotive Business Review (aBr). After a day of reflection and consultation, and further investigation into the events around a most unfortunate and acrimonious exchange of views on social media, a decision has been taken.
Mr Naidoo has today, with immediate effect, left the employ of aBr. The decision was taken in the cold light of day, and many factors had to be considered in taking this decision, not least of which were the many death threats received, but of course the key determination was based on the unacceptable nature of the comments made, irrespective of the circumstances, of which I shall expand on in an editorial to be published in the next issue of aBr.
I wish to once again apologise unreservedly to the family of Mr Pearce; the entire biking community of South Africa; the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists; our valued clients and customers and members of the public.
I also wish to reiterate that aBr and its staff distance ourselves entirely and without reserve from the comments made by Mr Naidoo, and that we, notwithstanding that Mr Naidoo has now left our employ, are investigating opportunities to make something good out of a terrible set of circumstances, and to show our goodwill towards all motorists.
Publisher, Automotive Business Review
Tuesday 18 February 2014
SAGMJ update received (21/02/2014):
In light of the extraordinary response to recent comments made by Mr. Thegandra Naidoo, it was decided at the most recent meeting of the Guild Committee to temporarily suspend Mr. Naidoo’s membership to the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists, pending the outcome of a disciplinary process as prescribed by the SAGMJ constitution. The temporary suspension commences with immediate effect.
Issued by the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists