Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Osama bin Laden is in Mauritius. It RaWKs here biyatches!!!

It may happen one day that you find yourself heading west out of Johannesburg, down Main Reef Road, pass the intersection with Leratong Hospital on your right, en route to Randfontein.
I can't say what Randfontein offers that would warrant the excursion, but it may be that the fate of the free world depended on it, or not.
Either way you'll drive past Azaadville; home to 67 Facebookers who've chosen to disclose it as their hometown on their profiles, and one who rose to recent notoriety for being the alleged purveyor of Matric exam papers.

A raid on his house by the Johannesburg Flying Squad Reservist Unit and the subsequent email Fwd:FW: floods were precipitated by the following Facebook status update:
"***** ****** is if all u matric peeps r needin papers.. i no sum ppl, dat nos sum ppl dat robbed sum ppl, that robbed the department... so if u want papers.. jus leme no (",)."

Azaadville is a small town by any definition of 'small town'. Even the term 'town' is too generous for the locale. Designated as an indian-area in the dark-days, the residents have remained pre-dominantly conservative Muslims, Hindus and Christians.
Despite its size and unassuming mien, Azaadville has managed to find itself peppered across newsprint from time to time.
Pre-1994, the town provided shelter for residents in neighbouring Swanieville who were wracked by political violence. Its high school was re-named Ahmed Timol Secondary by former President Nelson Mandela, after the school teacher and anti-apartheid activist who died while in police custody. It was home to the "man they called Banjo" as well as nascent cricketing talent Gulam Bodi who bowled many an over in the local fields.

And now Facebook has brought new focus on Azaadville.

This would be a truly pioneering case if investigations prove that the 'Ville Facebooker in question was in possession of the stolen examination papers. It would be the first time in South African history that a person's actions on an internet social-networking platform result in legal action.

But what does this mean really? Riyaadh Ebrahim posited the implications around arresting someone based on their Facebook status message. He gives the following example, "If my Facebook status says that I am going to kill someone, can I be charged with intent to murder?"
He claims it's a curtailment of the freedom of expression.

I changed my status to 'Saaleha is going to kill Riyaadh Ebrahim at 10.30 tonight in the study using a brass candlestick.' This is obviously a statement that won't be taken seriously by any authority.

The 'Ville Facebooker claimed he was joking.
"***** ****** is if all u matric peeps r needin papers.. i no sum ppl, dat nos sum ppl dat robbed sum ppl, that robbed the department... so if u want papers.. jus leme no (",)."
It certainly reads like a joke. In fact, if any aspirant matriculant read that and thought it was legitimate, I'd say, "Go ahead and try your luck, you obviously need all the help you can get."
Online social transactions will never epitomised by credibility. You take what you read with a gram of coke. Didn't they learn that on IRC?

And then of course, you can flip this thing over on its side. There was the anonymous caller to the crime tip-off line. What if the 'Ville Facebooker really had the exam papers? Now there's a nomination for Most Retarded Net-User Of The Year.


SingleGuy said...

Saals hon, you have got a point there...kind of reminds of that Tom Cruise flick, Minority Report where people were arrested on the basis of prediction of murder. The problem with that system was that one has to be 100% certain that the predictions are accurate.

"I'm gonna kill you!" is such a loosely used phrase today that I cannot perceive it to be taken seriously as an intent of murder. However, if someone say "I'm gonna kill you in the library with the candlestick" I suppose it shows that a certain amount of thought and planning has gone in to it and this might be perceived in a different light if there is corroborating evidence of poor relations between the parties. Obviously not, if it is a status update on Facebook and and obvious rip-off of Cluedo, Miss Scarlet.

The 'Ville Facebooker was also not very original in his use of that statement since it is direct rip-off of Huggie-Bear in Starsky and Hutch. (My movie knowledge is disturbing, I know.) Having said that, leaked papers are a very sensitive subject and I don't think the authorities had any choice but to look into the matter.

So Finally, can you be held accountable for your statements even if it is meant as a joke? I think yes, especially so if the statement is made in any public forum where there is a good chance that it may be misconstrued. In the same light Sexual Harassers may be held liable for any statements made in the office setup, even if the protest that it was joke. Point is, someone didn't think so.

I guess, the safest is if you're going to make such a statement, you have to make it completely outrageous so that it will be qualified as being a joke, or otherwise issue an additional statement or disclaimer marking it so?

Riyaadh said...

love the article :) and not only coz my name in it, twice :)

just to be on the safe side though, tonight at 10.30 im staying out of the study and keeping away from brass candlestick holders :)

its a very big messy dangerous can of worms that this incident has opened up and i seriously hope it is closed just as fast else all the irc-ies and bloggers and facebookers are in for a real tough time.

KimyaShafinaaz said...

hey saals! loved this! instinct told me to look up the story right here at the Spaghetti Chronicles :P

Riyaadh, heres to a long and healthy life to you, dude!

i must say, tho.. between manto's shindigs and this kinda crap we being dealt with, the humoured patience is running thin :/

Ta^KiLLa said...

Good one..
Media did make a meal of it though..

But take nothing away from the Mampara of the week..

Anonymous said...

For that town i guess the media tackled it nicely,

i also like how interpol unwarped that paedophile's face, wtf kinda sick shit is media being used for these days...

queen_Lestat said...

lol yeah this guy was a close tie with my retard for web moron of the year award.And to think he might even be somehow related to our Minister of Education.

What makes me laugh is that he offers papers (i.e. incites/condones and encourages some kind of cheating and criminal activity) and then has all these daily-babe type crappy apps, and marry me-sex me-kill me, and other such plebby things...and then riiiiiiiiight at the bottom has an app for:

Hadith of the Day.

Saaleha,care to play spot the irony with the queen? We'll have tea and crumpets and croquette on the grass afterwards :P

On another note, I didn't know what was funnier. His stupidity...or his outfit in his profile pic.

The Organ Harvester said...

when determining a charge one should seek to establish what a reasonable person think on reading this. or when any statement is made. exam leaks are as common as prison breaks so it would be reasonable for authorities to take it seriously. i mean if they didnt act we'd complain. as for this retard he deserves a 2 x 4 across his head and used as plant food. but that's my humble opinion.

SingleGuy said...

For me THE MOST IRONIC THING.....he has the same last name as a very very important person in the department of education....mmm....anyone spot an inside job?

Nazeer Ballim said...

Great article, well summed up...I think because the "pimp" decided to contact the 702 crime line, it was used as an opportunity to emphasize on the ability and the resourcefulness of the government's intelligence agency. I say this because personally, if i was committing a crime of such a nature, the last thing I would do is advertise it in public domain, i'm sure anyone could have figured that out. The media made a meal out of a cracker and cheese, the poor guy became an example to everyone, think twice before placing an ad in the classifieds.

Bilal said...

u cant blame the poor guy- after all, he is FROM AZAADVILLE :P

Ta^KiLLa said...

Please ignore the comments made by bilal above.. he is AFTER ALL and accountant :P ..

Fatima said...


the amount of garbage i spewed out on to irc in those days makes me cringe.

i want to know is who tipped crimeline off?

::: SPEEDY ::: said...

and dont worry ...........next year i will be supplying the matric papers again.This time going to use another ditributor.Anyone here want to volunteer? Maybe you bilal?Sals ill split the profit with you - after all i am advertising here. LOL

Mini said...

LMFO.....Don't ya'll just love them azad juicy stories....I bety there are many more to mention....Hey Salz I think your next piece of work should be something kinda something outa the LAUDIUM SUN (panchaat column)...I bet it would make a gr8 read

Priya said...

a certain skanky person told me about htis...she has ties too. I could not help but laugh - the entire debacle was absurd...and well, I guess this guy's only crime was stupidity. Who says u don't pay for that?

tsk tsk

Profane. Profound. What's your poison?