We reject Independent Media's distorting reporting
3 March 2017
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 for an 8 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 racializing crime in the Western Cape without evidence to support their claims.
The ANC had alleged that verbal and physical assaults by whites on blacks, coloureds and Indians 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.
Hansard of Premier's remarks:
QUESTIONS TO THE PREMIER WITHOUT NOTICE:
Mr K E MAGAXA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Madam Premier, do you not perhaps acknowledge that since you took over this administration as the head of the Provincial Government in the Western Cape, rightwing extremists including the level of racism have intensified in the province.
The SPEAKER: I see the Premier, the hon Premier.
The PREMIER: Thank you very much. That is a hypothetical question that asks me to express and opinion and that is against the rules.
The SPEAKER: Thank you Madam Premier. [Interjections.]
Mr P UYS: So what is the answer? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Sorry, hon member Mr Magaxa, Madam Premier. [Interjections.]
The PREMIER: I cannot express an opinion.
The SPEAKER: Order please, Madam Premier, if the hon member Mr Magaxa has missed your response, if you would care to provide him with your answer again please, for the record.
The PREMIER: The rules state that no member is allowed to ask a hypothetical question that requires me to express an opinion. My response...
An HON MEMBER: Sorry, which rule?
The PREMIER: The rules of the House. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Rule 195(3). Madam Premier.
The PREMIER: The rules of the House are very clear on that subject. Let me say, Madam Speaker, that although I think that questions should be ruled out of order by the chair, my view is this: the ANC has been running a major campaign with the secretly funded war room to brand the Western Cape as racist... [Interjections.] ... to brand the Western Cape as racist because they cannot cope with the fact that we offer a better Government for all. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Thank you. [Interjections.] Order please members. Hon member Mr Magaxa before you do a follow-up, if I could - hon member Mr Magaxa.
Mr K E MAGAXA: Yes, thank you, thank you.
The SPEAKER: If you could take your seat please, hon member Mr Magaxa. There was just a question posed while the Premier was speaking in terms of which rule. We go to Rule 195(3) which says a question may not be hypothetical and that was the context of the response to you, hon member Mr Magaxa, so I am just responding to, the rule is 195(3). You may address your follow-up.
Mr K E MAGAXA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Thank you hon Premier. Now how do you explain the ongoing verbal and physical assault on black people namely African, coloured and Indians by white racists, including the recent damage of places of worship like the Mosque and your Government’s poor performance in promoting racial inclusion to top management, both in private and public sector irrespective, as found by the Commission for Employment Equity Report 2015/2016. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: The hon Premier.
The PREMIER: As far as I am aware the person who desecrated the Mosque has not been identified so I do not know why the hon member Mr Magaxa is speculating about the race of that person. It could be anybody. That is number one, so making an assumption about the race of that person is frankly outrageous.
Secondly, if we had to do a racial breakdown in terms of assaults and murders in terms of victims and perpetrators I think you might well find that the majority of murders and assaults in this province are not perpetrated by white people on black people.
The SPEAKER: Thank you Madam Premier, that is the two follow-up questions done.
Issued by Michael Mpofu, Spokesperson for Premier Helen Zille, 3 March 2017
The comment by Helen Zille as reported by the Cape Times against that recorded by Hansard:
“Most murderers not white – Zille” Cape Times, 3 March 2016
“If we are to do a racial breakdown in terms of assaults and murders in terms of victims and perpetrators, I think you will find that a majority of murders and assaults in this province are not perpetrated by white people.”
"Secondly, if we had to do a racial breakdown in terms of assaults and murders in terms of victims and perpetrators I think you might well find that the majority of murders and assaults in this province are not perpetrated by white people on black people."