A controversial columnist fired recently by an Afrikaans Sunday paper says he understands why he was dismissed, writes Sibongakonke Shoba in Business Day.

Deon Maas was fired after he wrote an opinion piece on Satanism, saying it “had a bad deal”. Readers began an SMS campaign, calling for a boycott.

Maas said editor Tim du Plessis terminated his contract after some distributors refused to carry the newspaper if it continued running his column.

He did not approve of the decision, but understood it was influenced by commercial interests. “I understand why Tim du Plessis made that decision, because he has to report to a board.”

Although Maas understood why he was dismissed he insisted there was nothing wrong with what he wrote. In his article, Maas wrote : “Satan does not necessarily represent evil, it is just a different philosophy. You still pray, but only to another god.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.