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David Bullard, do not pass begin, do not collect R200

When you can’t afford to invest in a new hobby, or buy a new car, or take a life-changing trip because you’re a bitter journalist who’s basically ragged on every publication they have ever worked for … then the next best thing to do is obviously start trolling people on Twitter. A public space, where you’re bound to get attention by being as crass as you feel like.

Fine David. You’ve baited. We’ve bitten.

How else did you expect the people in a public space like Twitter to react when you accused Michelle Solomon of being a “fantasist” and “alleging” her own rape?

Here’s a word of advice David, in a country that’s dealing with a rape crisis and the countless people who have lived through these ordeals and continue to deal with them on a daily basis in silence out of fear of laying a charge and facing the social stigmatism that comes with such ease for you on Twitter, alongside an audience filled with many who I hope are not misogynistic like you — accusing someone of lying when it comes to rape is basically proving that you are a B-grade citizen and opening yourself up to the wrath of more bitterness. Which is fine I guess, but let’s put our thinking hats on and remember that there are countless other ways of getting attention. Better ways. Constructive ways. Maybe spend some time on the internet researching those, or rape stats in South Africa for that matter, instead of bullying people about personal circumstances you know nothing about.

Bullard goes on Twitter to accuse activist Solomon of:

Wow. If I am speechless, it’s because I cannot even begin to conceive of the pure degrees of ignorance someone who once was a commentator on South Africa (in the form of a column) can openly share, let alone think up a pointless, insensitive, gem like this.

Solomon rightly replied:

And he goes on and on and on to make what I can only assume he thinks are witty and intelligible remarks, including calling another Twitter user, Melanie van Wyk, his “dear” and proceeding to brag about how white-middle aged English men use that term at the Rand Club.

Have we not learnt from the countless examples in South Africa of this kind of attack on social media? Or perhaps Bullard feels protected because as an unemployed civilian he cannot be fired and he will not face the professional ramifications of his actions?

While you might be entitled to throwing the word “dear” around at the Rand Club, you — and anyone else — in this society is certainly not entitled to assert themselves — like the act of rape itself — to claim back some sort of “power”.