MRN welcomes the apology made by the editorial team of the Daily Maverick. We note the apology was made to Junaid and Farhad Dockrat and extended to the South African Muslims.The apology was made in light of a shoddy piece of journalism on the part of De Wet Potgieter whose article (Al-Qaeda: Alive and well in South Africa, 13 May 2013) met with outrage and anger within the Muslim community. The so-called investigation report sort to create the impression that the Dockrat cousins and family members (Fashion World and Sedgars) had links with Al Qaeda and were using certain facilities for terror training activities.
The Media Review Network acknowledges the explanation provided by Branko Brkic (Editor of the Daily Maverick) that Potgieter’s analysis was baseless and false. The errors contained in it ought to have alerted Branko’s editorial team about the huge gaping holes in Potgieter’s story.
Potgieter provides an explanation in his article that appears in today’s Daily Maverick, admitting to being caught up in a twilight realm of power play in the intelligence world. He further acknowledges that he has paid a bitter price for being setup but fails to name any of the sources that misled him. Disappointingly he has not been magnanimous enough to apologise to the Dockrat family and the Muslim community.
While the Media Review Network is aware of the apology made by the Daily Maverick, this kind of journalism creates an incalculable damage that is difficult to undo. It is imperative that journalists and editors retain the integrity of objective journalism at all times.
The Media Review Network commends the Daily Maverick for its ability for having set the record straight and calls on South African media to exercise extreme caution in placing trust in discredited Islamophobic sources that are bent on raising false alarms about so-called terror camps.
Exec: Media Review Network
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