Standard Bank Suspends Economist Hart Following Twitter Comments

Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s biggest lender, said it suspended economist Chris Hart while he faces disciplinary action for comments he made on Twitter that may have “racist undertones.”

The Johannesburg-based lender said on its website it distanced itself from Hart’s comments on Jan. 3, in which he said the victims of apartheid are “increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities.” The statement caused a backlash on Twitter from people calling him a racist and urging Standard Bank clients to boycott the lender.

Hart later apologized in a Twitter post, saying that he didn’t intend to cause offense and that his comments were meant to be read in the context of a slowing economy. Standard Bank said his earlier statements were “factually incorrect, make inappropriate assumptions about South Africa and have racist undertones.”

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