Ex-model shocked by threats after post

Shashi Naidoo was lambasted for calling Gaza a "sh*thole".
Shashi Naidoo was lambasted for calling Gaza a "sh*thole".
Image: James Oatway

A former Port Elizabeth model and television personality has received death threats after comments she posted about the Palestinian territory of Gaza on social media sparked outrage online.

Shashi Naidoo, who lives in Johannesburg and runs Alushi Models, has come under fire for a post in which she said Gaza as was “a sh*thole of immense proportions” on Instagram at the weekend.

The post said Gaza used millions of dollars in foreign aid – meant for building houses, hospitals and schools – to “build terror tunnels and rockets to pursue its ambition of annihilating Israel”.

The post and two apologies from Naidoo have been removed, but it was reposted on Youtube where Naidoo was criticised for her comments.

“This woman embarrassed all of us,” wrote one user.

“I reject her apology and will not support her or her products.”

Speaking from Spain yesterday afternoon, a tearful Naidoo said comments like these were mild compared to the ones since sent to her directly – which included several death threats.

“I’m trying hard not to look at the hurtful things [people are saying],” she said.

“It is way past [the initial 10 death threats] now. I know the words I posted were disgusting, but threatening to kill me is not correct either.”

Naidoo said her friends and even her mother had received threats, while some people had said they knew where she lived and threatened to come after her.

She said the controversial post followed after she had posted a photo of herself with the musical artist Black Coffee.

“Someone criticised me for posting a photo with him because he’d performed in Israel and accused him of being pro-Israel,” Naidoo said.

“I am very ignorant to what is happening in Israel and Palestine.

“A friend said he’d write something and I was very stupid, and copied and pasted it onto my profile. I posted it in a haste to protect someone I see as a friend and icon.

“I take full accountability for [the post], but I just wish people knew what is in my heart.”

Naidoo said she did not expect the backlash to die down soon, but hoped to learn from the experience.

“Hopefully I will be able to grow from this.”