Modise sceptical of using Zoom again after virtual Parly meeting hacked

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise was singled out for verbal insults from hackers who screened graphic pornographic images before the start of the virtual meeting.

FILE: National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Speaker Thandi Modise said she did not want to be exposed again to the pornography and racial insults that disrupted a meeting of the National Assembly’s programming committee on Thursday morning.

Modise was singled out for verbal insults from hackers who screened graphic pornographic images before the start of the virtual meeting.

It later resumed without further problems, but Modise and shocked MPs do not want it to happen again.

MPs condemned the hacking of the meeting as “sick” and “disturbing” after racial insults were directed at Modise and pornographic images were shown.

Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip Natasha Mazzone said: “Madam Speaker, I hope that you are right, no-one should ever have to suffer that kind of abuse and my heart goes out to you especially, this morning.”

Mazzone also raised the efficiency of virtual committee meetings, referring to the collapse on Wednesday night of a joint meeting of Parliament’s Public Enterprises committees after African National Congress and Economic Freedom Fighters MPs started hurling insults at each other.

Modise told MPs that a meeting on the Zoom platform at Britain’s House of Commons had also been hacked.

“It is not only the South African Parliament that they have failed, that one in the UK has also been failed by Zoom. So, I am very sceptical of going back to Zoom, I must express that. I do not want to be exposed to what I was exposed to this morning, I do not think the country deserves that.”

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