Standard Bank says it has suspended it’s employee, economist Chris Hart, pending an inquiry into the events of his commentary on Twitter on Sunday 3 January.
On Sunday, Hart wrote: “More than 25 years after Apartheid ended, the victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities…”
It was part of a series of tweets, but that particular post drew strong criticism, with users calling on Standard Bank to take action against the respected economist.
Hart later apologised: “This tweet has caused offense – never intended for which I apologize wholeheartedly. Meant to be read in context of slow growth.”
On Monday Standard Bank released the following statement:
“Standard Bank Group distances itself from comments made by Chris Hart on Twitter on 3 January 2016. The comments made by him are factually incorrect, make inappropriate assumptions about South Africa and have racist undertones.”
The bank followed up that statement late on Monday afternoon with the following:
“Standard Bank has suspended Mr Chris Hart pending an inquiry into the events of his commentary on Twitter on Sunday 3 January. The inquiry will be conducted in line with the bank’s established protocols and its obligations in law.
“Standard Bank has distanced itself from the comments made by Mr Hart, the outcome of the inquiry will be communicated once the process has run its course.”