Fake news alert: Cape Argus misreports again
19 July 2017
The Independent Group continues to dupe their readers using the Cape Argus. The latest failed smear involves the false claim that Premier Helen Zille “snubbed a conference of 100 children” on Mandela Day, under the cynical and misleading headline “‘Sick’ Zille fails to hear the youth”.
This is completely false. Premier Zille has been booked off by her doctor for bronchitis. Because her condition did not respond to conventional treatment, chest x-rays were conducted yesterday.
The organisers of the Mandela Day event, to which the Premier had been invited, were informed of her illness. The response received was: “We appreciate all the effort you have all made. We trust that the premier will make a full recovery soon.”
Communication with organisers was cordial at all times, with the MC wishing the Premier well when informing guests that she had been booked off sick. I attended the event on behalf of the Premier.
The Cape Argus also attended the event and is fully aware of all the above facts. They have therefore deliberately chosen to publish a distorted and false report.
While there is brief reference in the middle of the report to the Premier being booked off sick, this is completely contradicted by the cynical headline and report’s opening claim that the event was “snubbed”.
This is clearly part of the Independent Group’s vilification agenda - which manifests itself repeatedly. It is not a sub-editing error, as has repeatedly and falsely been claimed by the newspaper when exposed for misreporting in the past.
Both the Argus and Cape Times have joined the ranks of The New Age, as cheap propaganda rags with little regard for their own credibility. The total disregard shown for their readers, though the consistent misrepresentation of facts, is one of the major reasons for the falling circulation of Independent’s Cape titles.
We will continue to expose the distorted and unethical reporting of Independent Media, and its regular dishonesty with its readers.
Issued by Michael Mpofu, Spokesperson for Premier Helen Zille, 19 July 2017