Suspended head of online safety at Ofcom ‘chooses to leave’ watchdog

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Suspended head of online safety at Ofcom ‘chooses to leave’ watchdog

EXCLUSIVE: Fadzai Madzingira was subject to four-month investigation into anti-Israel social media posts days after the Hamas attacks on 7 October

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Fadzai Madzingira
Fadzai Madzingira

The woman who was suspended as online safety director for Ofcom, over alleged anti-Israel posts on social media, has “chosen to leave” the broadcasting regulator, it was announced late on Friday.

Fadzai Madzingira, who was only appointed to her post last May, has been the subject of a four-month-long investigation by Ofcom.

Days after the Hamas attacks on southern Israel on 7 October last year, Madzingira was active on her Instagram account, with posts and re-posts which appeared to be anti-Israeli in sentiment.

She is said to have “liked” a post from Black Lives Matter UK, which was critical of the British government for deploying Royal Navy ships to support Israel in the Gaza conflict. The post said: “As if it wasn’t bad enough already, the UK is also set to participate in the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians. Shame on this vile colonial alliance. #freepalestine.”

The Guido Fawkes political site published a screenshot of an apparent posting Madzingira made on her Instagram Stories account, in which she commented on “the targeting of Palestinians”, and appeared to liken Israel’s actions to genocide. In another post, Madzingira allegedly liked a post calling Israel and the UK “a vile colonial alliance.”

After Jewish News approached Ofcom in mid-October, the organisation said: “Having reviewed these comments we’ve suspended this colleague, pending further investigation.”

Madzingira describes herself as a “Zimbabwean, a Black feminist, a student of decolonisation and a deep believer of liberty for all”, saying she has “one hope” before posting a Palestinian flag emoji.

Asked in January what was the outcome of its inquiry into her posts, Ofcom was unable to say more than that its investigation was “still ongoing”. On Friday, the broadcasting regulator, which is chaired by Lord Grade, issued a terse statement saying only that Madzingira had “chosen to leave” Ofcom.

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