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An open letter to Margaret Van Wyk that we all need to read


A young South African from Pretoria has written an open letter to Margaret Van Wyk that is going viral for all the right reasons…

Margaret van Wyk intended to send the nude photo to her husband, but instead, the mom accidentally shared it with an entire WhatsApp group of fellow hockey parents, sparking a viral story that could now lead to criminal charges for those sharing the picture.
The incident started on Wednesday morning, when the South African mother posted her nude photo in a group called “hokkie ouers” along with a message to Chris, her husband. Quickly realizing her mistake, Margharet sent a message of apology…
“Sorry everyone. Made a mistake. Was meant for my husband. Hi Chris, have you left yet?,” she wrote in a translated message.
But the moment of panic and embarrassment didn’t end there. As the report noted, someone in the WhatsApp group took a screenshot of Margharet van Wyk’s nude photo and posted it to the internet with the hashtag #MargaretVanWyk, which ended up as the biggest trending term across South Africa on Wednesday and Thursday.
The incident started on Wednesday morning, when the South African mother posted her nude photo in a group called “hokkie ouers” along with a message to Chris, her husband. Quickly realizing her mistake, Margharet sent a message of apology…
But the moment of panic and embarrassment didn’t end there. As the report noted, someone in the WhatsApp group took a screenshot of Margharet van Wyk’s nude photo and posted it to the internet with the hashtag #MargaretVanWyk, which ended up as the biggest trending term across South Africa on Wednesday and Thursday.
The story has generated plenty of controversy, with many people speaking out in support of Margharet and condemning those who spread around what was meant to be a private photo and only shared by mistake.
Ruann Weidemann wrote an open letter which has been shared thousands of times. It’s something that everyone needs to read. See the full transcript below…
Dear Margaret, (an open letter aan onse #margaretvanwyk, Facegenoot 2016)
As a member of a somewhat sick society here on the tip of a beautiful continent, I want to go down on you, I mean my knees, and apologize for our evil behaviour earlier this week.
We’re the same group of people that crucified Pistorius and wrecked Joost. We are not individuals, but a deindividuated group of South African morons, sitting like confused boereworsies in front of our pc’s, while mamma’s in the kitchen where she belongs and boetie by die rugby besig om die kak uit die laaities uit te tackle.
Sundays we’re at church singing ‘God van yster en beton,’ and on Monday morning we’re driving to work hoping Bettie is wearing her short skirt again. We sing along to kak like Skaroemba and still believe that Jesus was a white man.
I apologize for our behaviour earlier this week, Margaret, but let’s blame it on Apartheid and the fact that we don’t care much about anything other than skinder, 7de laan, and cheap thrills.
I remember in Primary School. There was a bunch of shoes next to die rugbypale. A group of girls galloped like they do, and one tripped, doing a bollemakiesie right there and then, showing us boys that there is indeed nothing down there but textile. Everyone laughed, like we do, and the little girl cried like, well, a little girl. One called her a slut and ran for a while.
I bet you’re doing the same thing right now, aren’t you Margaret, hiding from the world?
From the deepest part of my being I beg you to try and understand why we have done this to you. Deindividuation turns perfectly nice everyday people into internet bullies, and the bystander effect is us standing by and cheering it on (See the rape and murder of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese, “where at least 38 people in the vicinity witnessed the rape but had done nothing to help, which allowed the attacker to return to the scene and finish his killing.”) However, most of us just watch and laugh at this kind of stuff. We’re pussies, really, and heartless at that.
The truth is we want you to be shamed, and we want to tell our friends. We want to be a part of a sadistic group of internet bullies, because we want to be entertained. We want to know that there’s someone out there far worse off than us. It makes us feel just little bit better about our pathetic little lives.
We’re the same group of people who pushed that girl in High school to commit suicide. We even gave ou Henrie a loopdop that night he crashed his car. Ek wonder of die mense besef jy is iemand se ma?
What still surprises me is how we watch kaal tannies on the internet all day long. Hell, we even masturbate to it, but let’s not talk about that. We cry at night about dead friends and feel hurt when people judge our appearances. We have panic attacks and rescue stray dogs. We feed children and support oom Angus.
But still, Margaret, we are not nice people. We are 100% willing to ruin your reputation and to break you down.
Be strong, maragaret. I wish there were a straight way out of this. Sue daai bliksem/kat wat jou so verneder het, of verander jou naam en gaan ver weg. Hierdie mense gaan nie verander nie.
Just know that some of us are sorry, and we’re here to help. Our thoughts are with you and your family.
With kindness,
Ruann Weidemann
Khabza Mkhize

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