Wednesday, 14 May 2014

PA’s post-election plans

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) was launched in 2013 in the hope that it would become a viable and credible alternative to the DA and the ANC. That is a hope that the party’s founders and members continue to hold.

This party is grateful to the more than 13 000 people who understood the vision and aims of PA and cast their vote for us. Naturally, we expected much more support and the enormous amount of work that the party put in ahead of the elections led us to believe that we would do a great deal better last week. However, in politics it does take time to change voter patterns and attitudes and we believe that a strong foundation has been laid from which to grow PA and ultimately make it a force to be reckoned with. We received almost half of our votes in provinces that we barely campaigned, which tells us that now is the time to build strong institutional structures so that party members nationwide can begin to activate support in their areas. We expected the Western Cape to give us our largest chunk of support, and while that was indeed the case, it’s clear that this party’s message needs to go out more strongly if we are to reach the people who need our green revolution the most. Our president has spent the days following the election travelling to branches, to encourage them and explain the plans for the future.

We need all other provinces to come on board for the future. One lesson from this election for us is that one cannot rely too heavily on one area or one section of the electorate, especially when you have a manifesto like our own, which can appeal to any South African.

We focused a great deal on the so-called coloured vote. We made inroads in this constituency and the injustices visited upon coloured people will remain high on our agenda, but it cannot remain our sole focus and was never intended to. All the same, it is simply not acceptable that the “coloured vote” can be attracted so cheaply. Our people need more than T-shirts, food parcels and statistics on billboards at voting time. They need to be given business opportunities in the areas they live; they need to be given ownership of council homes that they have been paying for decades; they need access to their age-old fishing rights; they need to be able to walk freely without fear of being shot in gang violence; they need to be treated as equal citizens and acknowledged as people who are as dispossessed, or even more dispossessed, than any other group in South Africa. The day will come when they will no longer vote for parties who do no more for them than offer empty promises.

Nevertheless, all South Africa’s people deserve better. We took a decision during the formation of this party that we would focus our time and resources on offering a political solution to coloured people that they had never had before. Part of that came about because of our successful peace-making efforts in gang areas. But PA is about far more than only that, and now that we have more time available, we will be demonstrating why we took pains to point out that we are truly a non-racial party. Before this election, we already took on the cause of the Klipheuwel community, which is a disgrace to the Durbanville municipality. These people have been living in Klipheuwel since the eighties and still cannot be given one electricity connection. All they have received from successive governments in charge was empty promises at voting time. The Durbanville municipality has already contradicted itself by building piped water connections in Klipheuwel, only to say that it cannot now add electricity connections on private land. Why is the municipality happy to “break the law” for water supply, but not for electricity? The answer is that it suits their budget, but that is a travesty. The Klipheuwel community became so disaffected that they vowed never to vote again. In its turn, PA took their plight to the Human Rights Commission, which has subsequently escalated their case to the Public Protector. Most of the affected people here are not part of the coloured community, and we feel equally strongly about their difficult conditions. Similarly, in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Langa and many other areas in the Western Cape and, of course, countrywide, our people are being taken for granted by ruling parties. One day that tide must turn.

PA is here to improve all of South Africa, whether you are white, black, coloured, Indian or anything else. We want these labels to become relatively meaningless, but that is only possible if we can all become equal economically, politically and socially.

PA will work towards a time when all people will be demonstrably equal. We knew from the outset that the task of changing people’s lives is not something that can be achieved overnight.

We will be contesting another two by-elections on 28 May, and others will also follow. The only by-election that we contested, earlier this year, was in Vredendal (the Matzikama region) and we placed third overall there during this general election, with more than 5% of the vote. That indicates the value of contesting such smaller elections vigorously. This will be part of our plan towards building for the 2016 local government elections.

We trust that, slowly but surely, the electorate will come to understand that PA is here for them and is here to stay. There will come a tipping point when PA becomes what we always knew it could be and what our detractors still fear it might be.


Monday, 5 May 2014

Patriotic Alliance’s complaint to the Public Protector regarding Filcon

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) has today formally lodged a complaint with the Public Protector regarding the alleged irregularities in the awarding of substantial tenders to Filcon by the City of Cape Town.

We trust that this matter will be investigated with the same professionalism that the Public Protector brings to areas governed by other political parties, ie, non-DA-led municipalities and provinces.

We reiterate here, as explained in the letter to the Public Protector, that the DA’s image belies years of corruption and diversion of resources that should have gone towards poor communities. What is of great concern is not necessarily that the DA’s administration is not as clean as many would like to believe — but that they have been able to keep it relatively quiet for so long.

We also note that the ANC in this province has been trumpeting the Filcon scandal with glee. They are, unfortunately, the pot calling the kettle black. Only a new political voice speaking on behalf of the Cape’s poor communities will be able to address the severe socioeconomic issues currently holding these ordinary citizens hostage. The Patriotic Alliance has been working tirelessly over the last year to be that voice.

We feel it is important to share our submission to the Public Protector with the media because our other submission to this Chapter Nine institution (regarding housing in Tulbagh) was not acknowledged over the course of the last two months. It was certainly not investigated. For this reason, we approached the Human Rights Commission over another matter in Klipheuwel, where poor residents there have been waiting for electricity connections for more than twenty years and have been given the runaround by first the NP-, then the ANC- and now the DA-led governments.

The Human Rights Commission escalated our concerns over Klipheuwel to the Public Protector and we trust it will be harder for Ms Thuliu Madonsela to ignore both us AND the Human Rights Commission.

Please find our letter to the Public Protector attached.

Yours sincerely,

Gayton McKenzie, President Patriotic Alliance


The full letter to the Public Protector, below:

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

SA Cape Corps joins Patriotic Alliance

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

For Immediate Release: Patriotic Alliance joined by the SA Cape Corps (SACC) Military Veterans

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) is today proud to announce that it has formally partnered with the SA Cape Corps Military Veterans countrywide.

This association is highly significant as the SACC has 72 000 members in the Western Cape alone and hundreds of thousands more across South Africa. Their ability to mobilise their members and to canvass for support, particularly in so-called coloured communities across the country, is unparalleled. This is mainly because of their military discipline and work ethic, but also because of the respect they still generate in their communities.

The Cape Corps and its predecessor units have a long military history that dates back to 1781. The history of these soldiers mirrors the history of the coloured people as a whole, which is why the Patriotic Alliance is so proud to be associated with them. This is the first time in the history of the Cape Corps that they have openly allied themselves with any political organisation.

Lillian Wakkies, the president of the SACC Military Veterans Association, says: “We as the SACC already decided months ago that we needed to work with PA. PA is the first party that has said and done everything we were looking for in a political organisation. Our coloured people have never been so overlooked in South Africa and PA will be our political voice in Parliament after the May 7 elections. We are urging all coloured people in South Africa who are tired of the same old promises of the other parties to stand together and support PA. 

“The department of military veterans is taking so long to give us our necessary recognition. The certificate that the minister needs to issue to us still hasn’t been issued. It’s an example of how coloured people are simply not deemed important enough any more. MK veterans get business opportunities and have never had things better.

“But it’s not only our military veterans who deserve to be recognised. The ownership of council flats needs to be signed over to our people and PA will ensure that our people are treated as equal citizens wherever PA governs.”

President of the Patriotic Alliance, Gayton McKenzie, says: “The SACC are proud soldiers dedicated to uplifting their communities. They fought for this country, but are today not given the recognition and respect from government that they deserve. I admire their support for this party because they are not simply growing Patriotic Alliance for themselves. They are doing it because they want coloured people as a whole to have a political voice and be in charge of their own destiny, which has never happened before in South Africa.”

The Patriotic Alliance is a non-racial party with its roots in the coloured community. It puts resolving the problems of the coloured community and the concerns of the coloured community at the top of its agenda. It enjoys support from church groups, civil society formations and Khoisan leaders throughout the Western and Northern Cape. In the last six months, PA has evolved swiftly from its peace-making role among communities affected by gang violence, and is already a strong political presence that is expected to enjoy a strong showing at the polls on May 7.

Despite its background, the party welcomes members from all races and economic groups and has broad policies for creating a more equal, politically and socio-economically fair South Africa. It wants BEE shares in companies to directly benefit all formerly disadvantaged South Africans.

To speak to president Lillian Wakkies directly, her number is 071 371 1694.

For any further interviews regarding PA, contact spokesperson Charles Cilliers on 079 127 1575.


Vir onmiddellike vrystelling: SAKK Militêre Veterane sluit aan by Patriotic Alliance

Dinsdag 29 April, 2014

Vir onmiddellike vrystelling: SAKK Militêre Veterane sluit aan by Patriotic Alliance

Patriotic Alliance (PA) is trots om vandag aan te kondig dat dit ’n formele vennootskap met die SA Kaapse Korps Militêre Veterane geteken het.

Hierdie alliansie is baie betekenisvol omdat die SAKK meer as 72 000 lede in die Wes-Kaap het met honderde duisende meer regoor Suid-Afrika. Hul vermoë om lede te mobiliseer en om verdere ondersteuning te werf, veral in bruin gemeenskappe landswyd, is ongetwyfeld. Ou SAKK soldate bewys nog steeds militêre dissipline en werksetiek en geniet ook die respek van hul gemeenskappe.

Die Kaapse Korps en sy voorgangers se militêre geskiedenis het in 1781 begin. Hul geskiedenis weerspieël die geskiedenis van bruin mense in die algemeen, en daarom is PA so trots om met die SAKK ge-assosieer te word. Dit is die eerste keer in hulle geskiedenis dat die Kaapse Korps hulself openlik aan enige politieke organisasie heg.

Lillian Wakkies, die president van die SAKK Militêre Veterane Vereniging, sê: "Ons as die SAKK het reeds maande gelede besluit dat ons met PA moet werk. PA is die eerste party wat alles doen en sê wat ons in 'n politieke organisasie soek. Ons bruin mense was nog nooit so oor die hoof gesien nie en PA sal ons politieke stem in die Parlement wees na die 7de Mei se verkiesing. Ons moedig al ons bruin mense, wie teen die tyd al moeg is vir dieselfde ou beloftes van die ander partye, om saam te staan ​​en PA te ondersteun.

"Die departement van militêre veterane vat so lank om ons die nodige erkenning te gee. Ons sertifikaat, wat die minister moes uitreik, is nog steeds nie uitgereik nie. Dit is 'n voorbeeld van hoe ons bruin mense eenvoudig nie as belangrik genoeg geag word nie. Die MK veterane kry boonop sakegeleenthede en gaan net vorentoe.

"Maar dis nie net ons militêre veterane wat verdien om erkenning te kry nie. Die eienaarskap van ons stadsraad woonstelle moet oorgeteken word aan ons mense en PA sal verseker dat ons as gelyke burgers behandel word waar PA regeer."

President van die Patriotic Alliance, Gayton McKenzie, sê: "Die SAKK is trotse soldate wie toegewyd werk om hul gemeenskappe op te hef. Hulle het vir hierdie land geveg, maar kry vandag nie die erkenning en respek wat hulle toekom nie. Ek bewonder hul ondersteuning vir hierdie party, omdat hulle Patriotic Alliance vir ’n groter doel wil laat groei. Hulle wil sien hoe bruin mense in die algeheel 'n politieke stem verkry en beheer terug vat vir hulle eie toekoms. Dit het nog nooit in Suid-Afrika gebeur nie."

Die Patriotic Alliance is 'n nie-rassige party met sy wortels in die bruin gemeenskap. Reg bo aan die party se agenda is die belange en probleme van die bruin gemeenskappe en om dit so spoedig as moontlik reg te stel. Dit party geniet tans die ondersteuning van kerk groepe, burgerlike organisasies en Khoisan-leiers regoor die Wes- en Noord-Kaap. In die laaste ses maande het PA vinnig ontwikkel van sy vredemaker rol onder gemeenskappe wat deur bendegeweld geteister word. Die party geniet reeds sterk politieke teenwoordigheid en sal na verwagting sterk vertoon by die stembus op 7 Mei.

Ten spyte van die party se agtergrond, werf dit lede van alle ras en ekonomiese groepe en het breë beleide vir die skepping van 'n meer gelyke, polities en sosio-ekonomies regverdige Suid-Afrika. Die party wil Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging in maatskappye verander om seker te maak dat bemagtiging alle voorheen-benadeelde Suid-Afrikaners direk baat.

Om direk met SAKK president Lillian Wakkies te praat, is haar nommer 071 371 1694.

Vir enige verdere onderhoude rakende PA, kontak woordvoerder Charles Cilliers by 079 127 1575.


Thursday, 10 April 2014

PA President Gayton McKenzie's full letter to president of the country Jacob Zuma on bringing peace to gang-torn communities

Dear President Jacob Zuma

Re: A near-term solution to lowering violence among gang-torn communities

Mr President, I realise you have been asked to deploy the army on the Cape Flats before. But the day a president declares a state of emergency and asks troops to restore order among civilians is a terrible day.

For Helen Zille to once again ask for the army to be sent in is disingenuous. She knows only too well that it won’t be done. Gangsterism is not a military problem. It’s a socioeconomic one.

But something needs to be done. At any given moment in the Western Cape, there is a child in a hospital fighting for his or her life because of being caught in gang crossfire.

Last week I almost wrote to you to add my voice to the call that the army be deployed to combat gangsterism on the Cape Flats. But I could not bring myself to  write that letter. And then the news broke that our military is in such a critical state of decline that it could take ten years to fix.

Many more young coloured men are dying every day than the white rhino. But the rhino dominates international headlines; the deaths of our people are simply fodder for local tabloids. The deaths of the rhino are such a hot topic on government’s agenda that you were willing to send in the army to protect the rhino. The army even crashed a helicopter in the Kruger Park while trying to save the rhinos.

But I don’t give a damn about the damn rhino any more. I wish they could all be wiped out tomorrow so that our people could move higher up the priority ladder. We can’t play second fiddle to the rhino.

Sending in the army is not the solution, but we do need a solution.

Part of the solution is the SA Cape Corps (SACC). There are more than 72 000 of them in the Western Cape alone. They have not enjoyed the same recognition as the other military veterans groups, but they remain proud soldiers who want to serve this country. They were made to fight by the apartheid government and were treated as second-class soldiers. But they were among the best soldiers the SA army produced. And now they are being treated as second-class citizens by the post-apartheid government too.

But they are soldiers, proud ones who should not be disregarded … as they have been for so long.

These soldiers are highly trained, experienced and fearless. It is simply good fortune for South Africa that most of them have resisted becoming part of gang activities, even though many are today without work and are being made to wait and to fight for their benefits after all those years of service.

They still want to contribute. I hear it from them every day.

Re-enlist and redeploy these highly trained men and women to keep law and order in our ganglands.

They can be re-equipped, given refresher courses within a matter of weeks and our communities will be safer immediately.

The police are no longer the solution. The courts are not the solution. The prisons are not the solution.

Our police force is compromised. Some police officers are themselves part of gangs. The insiders warn gangs when raids are about to happen. They arrange raids on rival gangs to confiscate drugs, abalone or other illicit materials, only to ensure the confiscated goods end up in the hands of other gangs, their gangs. So the drugs keep coming. The wars continue.

The police are no longer respected. They have lost authority. Many of our policemen are themselves struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction or simply low morale. Many policemen are being asked to patrol in areas where they grew up and where they and their families still live. The gangsters know exactly who they are and can threaten their families.

That’s not even the worst of it. Years ago, I was myself a gangster. Nothing made me happier than a policeman who preferred to get a loan from a gangster than from a loan shark. It only takes a small percentage of corrupt cops to undo the work of all the good cops. There are good cops out there, but they are not winning the battle.

As many as 3 000 service firearms go “lost” every year. They are the same guns the outlaws use on the streets to wage their gang wars. The fact that police guns are being used by gangs is the biggest sign that our police are incapable of eradicating gangsterism.

We need to face facts and send in the SACC. We need to prevent violence instead of mopping up behind it. We are mopping up the blood of our children.

We need the gang squad to be brought back, but it will take time to recruit and train cops who we will be able to trust in the fight against gangsterism. What happens over the next year, if an interim force isn’t there to restore peace? My party, the Patriotic Alliance, has managed to negotiate a peace settlement among the gangs in Manenberg and other areas, including Kraaifontein. And we are still working in Mitchells Plain and other towns including Worcestor. Our peace has a chance, but it cannot be a permanent solution. The SACC is not a permanent solution either, but someone needs to be there while the gang squad is being prepared; some group needs to be there to stop our children from being killed just because their auntie sent them to the shop to buy bread. Major-General Vearey and his men are not enough to make a big enough dent in the fight against gang violence. We need to send in the SA Cape Corps.

Restoring hope and opportunities to people in gang-affected communities is the most important tool to encouraging people as a group to make the right choices every day, because they should know that there are options available to them to survive that do not include violence and having the “most fearsome reputation in the neighbourhood”. But to date, no political administration has done nearly enough to create such a sense of hope and renewal and this is the only thing that will bring long-term positive change. But in the meantime, our people need the SA Cape Corps.

It’s election season, so all politicians will try in some way to score cheap points out of their reactions to the gang violence, but none of that is saving our children.

Let us work together to bring a lasting peace to the Western Cape. Let our communities work together to manage their own problems, and the SACC are from these communities, they are part of these communities. They should be a big part of the solution.

I trust you will apply your mind and considerable resources, Mr President, to these suggestions. I would appreciate an open dialogue with you on finding a national solution to this problem as gangsterism ultimately affects us all. I shall also be circulating this letter to the media in the interests of openness and an invitation to the public to add their voice, either for or against, suggestions for what needs to be done to create peace in what are often little more than civilian war zones.

Yours sincerely

Mr Gayton McKenzie
President, Patriotic Alliance

Friday, 7 March 2014

DA founder Freddie Kearns has joined Patriotic Alliance

Mr Freddie Kearns resigned last week as the Democratic Alliance ward councillor for Ward 25 in the City of Cape Town and immediately joined the Patriotic Alliance.
He was a founding member of the DA with Tony Leon along with his brother in law Dan Plato, the former mayor of Cape Town and now the minister for community safety in the Western Cape. Mr Kearns has been a leading figure in the DA for many years, but his departure shows that change is afoot in the Western Cape. The DA's maladministration, corruption and power-hungry tactics have continued for too long without the media getting wind of it. In many ways, the DA has enjoyed an easy time of it in the press because South Africa has so badly wanted an opposition that was more ethical and clean than the ANC. But covering up what the DA is really like is not the same as helping to build a better, stronger opposition against the political ills that plague our country.
The final straw for Mr Kearns was the debacle around the City of Cape Town's new logo. The way R300 000 was spent on this ridiculous piece of imagery and the millions more that updating it across the entire city's branding would cost taxpayers was simply too objectionable. Councillors were merely ordered to vote in favour of it without being given time to reflect on the matter and vote it in democratically. It raises serious questions around how the DA understands the Municipal Finance Management Act and if the public protector does not take it on herself to investigate this debacle, the PA would be obliged to request an investigation.
We welcome Freddie Kearns to the party, sure in the knowledge that there are others like him who intend to follow. His years of experience, political credibility and vision for a Cape Town free of the scourge of gangsterism will only help to further the Patriotic Alliance's growth.

Here follow a selection of news articles that appeared this morning about Mr Kearns' move to the PA:




Wednesday, 19 February 2014

"Gangster party" issue has been set straight for good

We as the Patriotic Alliance would like to express our full gratitude for the ruling of the press ombudsman that it was highly inaccurate for Sapa to refer to us as a party that "consists of gangsters". He also went on to point what we ourselves have always emphasised: that we were formed in order to create a society that would help to eradicate gangsterism.

We are encouraged by this act of moderating the press through its own processes. As a party we are not entirely satisfied however that Sapa actually apologised in a fair and accurate spirit following the directive of the ombudsman, to which we have issued a further complaint. But the biggest victory remains ours.

Here follows the full text of the ombudsman's ruling:

Wed, Feb 12, 2014
Ruling by the Press Ombudsman
12 February 2014
This ruling is based on the written submissions of Mr Charles Cilliers, on behalf of Mr Gayton Mckenzie of the Patriotic Alliance, and Mark van der Velden, editor of Sapa.
Cilliers complains about a Sapa story which was circulated to several online publications in December 2013.
The Patriotic Alliance (PA) complains the statement “of fact” in the story that it was a party that “consisted of gangsters” was inaccurate and damaging.
The story said that the parole of Mr Rasheed Staggie, former Hard Livings gang leader on the Cape Flats, had been revoked because he had joined a political party, the PA, “which consisted of gangsters”.
The PA complains that this depiction was false. It says that the police in the Western Cape alleged that the party was made up of gangsters, but it could provide no evidence to this effect – and Sapa made a leap to present this unfounded allegation as fact.
Sapa replies that due to an editing error the word “reportedly” was dropped from the sentence. It argues, though, that Mckenzie (who co-formed the PA in November 2013) was a convicted criminal who said in a Metro FM interview that gangsters were joining his party, and also: “They can call me a gangster. They can call us a gangster party. But they’ll see me at the polls.”
The news agency offers to do an interview with Mckenzie “to tell us more about his political party, what it stands for and who its members are, which we will then storify and distribute on our wire as a fresh and relevant and interesting news report”.
The PA accepts this proposal on condition that the story should be written as an apology. It says that it was vitally important “that Sapa (does) not attempt to weasel out of an apology”.
Sapa takes exception to the use of the word “weasel”, and refuses to apologise.
I also find the use of the word “weasel” rather unfortunate.
The main issue, though, is the question if Sapa should apologise for its mistake, or merely correct it (with or without a new story).
The yardstick that I constantly use when deciding about the above, is the question how much unnecessary harm a mistake may have caused the affected party.
Therefore, I need to do some research into what the PA stands for.
According to an internet search:
McKenzie explained that the inspiration for the formation of PA came from the extraordinary levels of gang violence during 2013 in the Western Cape. He stated that he believed that the governments in the Western Cape had not done enough to eradicate the root causes of gangsterism and crime and that the only way to ensure that this could be changed would be if a new political entity was established to address this issue.
While the party has stated that one of its key aims is the eradication of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic conditions that cause gangsterism and crime, almost all criticism and satire levelled at the PA has focused on the perception that the PA is a “gangster party”. PA leaders have, however, countered that they have been open about their discussions with gang leaders and this group is merely one among many others that have been consulted in talks ahead of the formation of the party. The PA stated that calling the party an organisation exclusively for gangsters is an attempt to intimidate people into not joining the party.
Despite police sources claiming that most of the 250 people who attended the pre-launch event were prominent gangsters and businessmen with underworld links, and that it was being led by members of the notorious 26s numbers prison gang, no one in the party’s leadership structures is a confirmed gang member.
The PA has also stated they would not allow an active gang member to assume a leadership position in the party, though no South African citizen would be prevented from joining the party.
·         There is nothing on the PA’s website ( that contradicts the information mentioned above.
From this (and I have no reason to disbelieve the information in the articles that I have read) it is clear that the PA wants to eradicate gangsterism, rather than be a party of gangsters. The description of the PA as “consisting of gangsters” therefore goes against a central conviction of the party and could only have caused it huge unnecessary harm. This was both inaccurate and unfair.
Based on all the information at my disposal I can accept that some members or supporters of the PA are gangsters. However, that probably goes for some other parties as well. The point is that nowhere does the PA encourage gangers to join its ranks because they are gangsters. Moreover, the fact that some of its leadership are convicted criminals, does in itself not mean that they are or were gangsters.
The fact that the PA is often described in the media as a party of gangsters should not serve as an excuse to perpetuate this description. Even the use of the word “reportedly”, which was edited out, would not have sufficiently rectified the matter.
This reminds me of an earlier ruling, where Mr Julius Malema complained that a newspaper erroneously stated that one of his houses was worth R16 million. One publication after the other merely quoted from each other, not bothering to find out the truth for itself. I then asked the architect for an official evaluation of the property, which amounted to R8.5 million.
The danger of this kind of reporting is that, if one repeats a false statement often enough, it becomes the truth in the eyes of the public.
The description of the PA as a party that consists of gangsters was in breach of Section 2.1 of the Press Code that states: “The press shall take care to report news truthfully, accurately and fairly.”
Sapa is directed to apologise to the PA and to send out the following text:
Sapa circulated a story in December 2013 in which we inaccurately and unfairly depicted the newly formed Cape-based political party the Patriotic Alliance (PA) as a body that “consisted of gangsters”, causing it unnecessary harm.
The party lodged a complaint with the Press Ombudsman, Johan Retief, who said that the PA clearly stated that it rather wants to eradicate gangsterism.
“The description of the PA as ‘consisting of gangsters’ therefore goes against a central conviction of the party and therefore it could only have caused it huge unnecessary harm. This was both inaccurate and unfair,” he said.
Retief stated that, based on the information at his disposal, he could accept that some members or supporters of the PA were gangsters. “However, that probably goes for some other parties as well. The point is that nowhere does the PA encourage gangers to join its ranks because they are gangsters. Moreover, the fact that some of its leadership are convicted criminals, does in itself not mean that they are or were gangsters.”
He added that, although the PA is often described in the media as a party of gangsters, this should not serve as an excuse to perpetuate this description. Even the insertion of the word ‘reportedly’, which was edited out, would not have sufficiently rectified the matter.
“The danger of this kind of reporting is that, if one repeats a false statement often enough, it becomes the truth in the eyes of the public,” Retief said.
We regret any unnecessary harm that this description may have caused the PA.
Visit for the full finding.
End of text
The possibility of a separate story about the PA is left up to Sapa’s discretion.
Johan Retief
Press Ombudsman