Media Statement: We Reject Independent Media's Distorted Reporting
The Cape Times newspaper today published a deliberately distorted quote from Premier Helen Zille. This follows a series of Press Council rulings against the paper, including an eight-month smear campaign against Premier Zille, based on a fabricated story.
The paper's deliberate misquoting of Premier Zille follows an exchange in the legislature yesterday where the Premier admonished the ANC for racialising crime in the Western Cape without evidence to support their claims.
The ANC had alleged that verbal and physical assaults by white people on black, coloured and Indian people were escalating in the Western Cape. They had also implied that a white person was behind the recent Mosque vandalism incidents.
No evidence was offered by the ANC to substantiate the claim, and the perpetrator of the Mosque vandalism has not been found by police.
In response, Premier Zille pointed out that victims and perpetrators in the majority of assault and murder cases would not fit the ANC's description of racial attacks by white people against black people.
An evidence-based reading of the crime stats shows that victims of violent crime in the Western Cape are most likely to live in communities impacted by gang violence, poor police resourcing, and social problems such as alcohol and drug abuse that lead to interpersonal violence.
The Cape Times has proceeded to deliberately edit out certain words in a quote from the Premier, to imply that she was accusing black and coloured residents of being murderers.
This is incorrect and false reporting. The Premier had in fact said precisely the opposite - that the majority of crimes did not have a racial character.
The Hansard of the exchange is attached as evidence of how the Cape Times distorted the Premier's words.
The reality is that the ANC in the Western Cape has very little credibility left. Their sole remaining tactic is to cry racism and manufacture outrage.
They are helped all the way by Independent Media's unethical reporting, which has become the norm after the group pulled all of its titles out of the Press Ombudsman process. We will continue to hold Independent Newspapers and the ANC to account for their under-handed tactics.