Headlines of Hate

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“The media can play a very important role in nation building – I want to live on this continent. I think you do, and I think that our children do, and I think we must create that environment. You know I was very close to Madiba, and we were gifted in having someone like that in our midst. I think it would be a travesty of justice if we didn’t take that goodness and do something with it.”

Iqbal Survé Daily Maverick 19/2/2013

 No longer do we serve primarily the descendants of the English colonists.

We are humbled and deeply grateful that you the readers warmed to this approach with loyal support, rejecting calls for a boycott by those colonial, unrepentant racists who once prostituted the Cape Times for their narrow political ends.

Cape Times editorial by Aneez Salie on 3 September 2018

If Bill Gates was to publicly condemn Microsoft’s white customers as racists and if he were then to drive some of the most talented and long-serving executives out of the company because they were not sycophantic enough and because the stratum corneum layer of their epidermis was not dark enough, he would justifiably be regarded as having sunk into dementia.

This is exactly what has happened at the Cape Times subsequent to the takeover of it and other newspapers in the Independent Media company in late 2013 by Iqbal Survé.

The core audience of the Cape Times has always been those who live in Cape Town’s leafy suburbs and one understands why the circulation of this newspaper has now dropped below 30 000 for the first time in its modern history when you read the editorial by the current Cape Times editor, Aneez Salie, which provides an anchor quote to this article.

In the second anchor quote to this article, Iqbal Survé claims that he was ‘very close’ to Nelson Mandela. After two years’ of research, the doyen of labour reporters in South Africa, Terry Bell, was able to prove that claim to be devoid of truth, a fact that was subsequently confirmed by Peter Flack. Mandela’s goal and ideal – illustrated by his visit to Betsy Verwoerd – was nation-building through reconciliation. In this article, using the Cape Times as a case study, I will articulate my personal opinion that Iqbal Survé and Aneez Salie have trampled on Mandela’s dream and I make that point by posting the front pages of this newspaper which constantly portray white South Africans as racists.

I would argue that the hatred of whites has been a strong motivating force which defined the reporting of the Cape Times from the moment of the Sekunjalo takeover in late 2013 and the purge of senior white journalists and columnists started.

Someone who was an observer during this purge of ethical, long-service white staff at the Cape Times is the former political editor of the newspaper, Dougie Oakes and his damning allegations have gone without response from company owner Iqbal Survé and Aneez Salie.

I would further argue that this toxic ethnic chauvinism played a singular role in the incarceration in Pollsmoor – one of the world’s most dangerous prisons – of a young man, Chad de Matos, innocent of any crime but venomously targeted by the Cape Times as a racist because he is white and was a UCT student.

Consider also the death by his own hand of a world-renowned cardiologist, Professor Bongani Mayosi. He succumbed as a result of relentless persecution by the fascist Fallist students who were constantly encouraged in their vicious anti-white anarchy by the Cape Times.

I would ask that retired judge Katheen Satchwell and her co-commissioners on the panel of the SANEF commission of inquiry into media ethics and credibility, Nikiwe Bikitsha and Rich Mkhondo, take cognisance of these two cases in their deliberations.

We have learned, from bitter experience in the past two decades that, when an ANC acolyte takes control of a newsroom, there is an overt and openly-expressed determination to drive out white staff members with institutional knowledge and expertise who would be opposed to the news manipulation which will inevitably follow.

We saw this first when Snuki Zikalala was appointed head of news at the SABC.

  • 15 April 1999 – Max du Preez was fired as editor of the SABC’s award-winning Special Assignment programme. Later, at a “victory braai” Zikalala and Phil Molefe allegedly told those present that it was “symbolically important” to purge the SABC of whites like Du Preez. This is covered in depth in a subsequent book by Du Preez, Pale Native: Memories of a Renegade Reporter.
  • September 2000 – In the monthly SABC house magazine, Intekom, the producer of the 50/50 television programme, Danie van der Walt, writes: Is this the same Zikalala who in the name of transformation walked into a Morning Live studio saying that he is still seeing too many white faces?”

In my farm murder article Place of Sorrow I pointed out that the most barbaric attacks killing our white food providers – from babes in arms to the frail elderly – have been and are ignored by the SABC but saturation coverage was given to Don Steenkamp, who murdered his parents and his sister on their farm, Naauwhoek, near Griquatown on 6 April 2012. This was an attempt to typecast all white farmers as innately evil.

Is the same policy not being implemented by Aneez Salie?

Former Cape Times employees say that Salie’s overt hatred of whites stems from the time that he and his former wife, Shirley Gunn, were arrested as MK operatives by security police in the apartheid era.

The most recent example of what I call ‘Headlines of Hate’ occurred on 23 August and it was telling because it’s headline Westerford devided (sic) on racist remark indicated that, in Salie’s campaign to demonize whites, even the most basic elements of spell checking, proof reading and sub editing have been abandoned.

It also illustrates the consequences of driving out loyal and accomplished white staff members with decades’ of experience and institutional knowledge under the guise of ‘transformation’. The Wits University journalism department gives a telling demographic breakdown in this regard between pages 31 and 34 of its 2017 State of the Newsroom report. It shows that four years after the ethnic purge started, the Cape Times has no newsroom staff with more than 15 years’ experience. The other morning newspaper in Cape Town, Die Burger, has ten.

Cape Town is a city that is home to three million people and suffers from a devastating murder rate yet, according to Aneez Salie, the subject most deserving of front page headline coverage on August 23 this year was a purported remark among school children during a car journey. That is clearly not the case but it is yet another example of many of how this once-respected newspaper constantly seeks to widen the ethnic divide.

Hardly a week has passed since Salie was made editor in February 2015 without such trivialities being trumpeted on the front page in an attempt to besmirch the city’s white citizens as innately evil.

Here are some examples:

  • 14 November 2014 – This was a Fake News front page lead and typical, in my opinion, of the attempts by the Cape Times to inflame racial hatred. The case was dropped when it became obvious that there was – as in the Tiger Tiger Five race hoax articles – no evidence to justify the appearance of the accused in court. The prosecutor was subsequently transferred to a small country town and the author of the article, Carlo Petersen, described by Salie as a ‘Mighty Pen’ subsequently left the Cape Times.

  • 6 February 2015 – This was the most egregious example of Aneez Salie’s Headlines of Hate campaign because it put two youths, innocent of any crime, into one of the most dangerous prisons in the world, Pollsmoor. You can read their account here. Chad de Matos and Aaron Mac were asleep in their car outside a nightclub, Tiger Tiger, in Claremont, Cape Town in October 2014 when they were alerted by their friends to an altercation in progress. They drove away without either of them having spoken to or touched a cleaner who falsely alleged that she had been brutally assaulted by them. Look at the headline on this front page Cape Times lead article by Carlo Petersen.

It is defamatory to describe an accused person as ‘racist’ before they have been convicted of racism so, until that point in the trial is reached, newspapers describe the accused in such trials as ‘alleged’ racists.

Did Salie’s deliberate omission of the word alleged in the 6 February 2015 front page headline not give away his game plan?

Without the slightest evidence and their own sworn statements which were in the possession of the prosecutor that they had never touched or spoken to the complainant, they were demonized as racists by the Cape Times and their lives thereafter became a living hell.

This was not just vile and despicable journalism, it was, I aver, evil journalism in which the invocation of hatred against white people has been a constant in the spoken word of the company’s leading executives and in its headlines. This started even before the Sekunjalo takeover in late 2013 with one of the country’s most experienced reporters, Donwald Pressly, being accused of racism because of his reporting on the questionable R800 million Sekunjalo marine vessels tender which was subsequently and justifiably withdrawn but which left our marine fisheries vulnerable to depletion by foreign fleets for years on end.

  • 18 February 2015 – The front pages of newspapers across the country were dominated by two elements of the previous day’s response by opposition parties to President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation speech. The first was DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s ‘broken man’ speech and the second was the use by the ANC of a signal jammer which prevented journalists from filing their stories.

Aneez Salie was having none of it. He felt that readers of the Cape Times needed to know about an email squabble over holiday accommodation – involving ‘racism’ of course – so ‘Romance ruined by racial abuse’ became the front page lead on 18 February 2015. No other newspaper saw fit to cover this or to follow up on it and nothing further was heard. It did, however, illustrate the extraordinary lengths to which the Cape Times will go to inflame ethnic tension – with the manifest approval and evident support of company owner Iqbal Survé who has never sanctioned Aneez Salie but dismissed Sunday Independent editor Wally Mbhele for publishing an article which upset the ANC.

  • 20 February 2015 – This was not a racial confrontation as the university was quick to point out. The stone throwers were angered that their call for a lecture boycott was being ignored by some students. It had nothing to do with the ethnicity of those in the car. But the Cape Times Fake News attempts to create racial tension where none exists are relentless.

  • 17 June 2015 – Social media arguments over alleged racial incidents flare almost hourly and are, as quickly forgotten – but the Cape Times never misses an opportunity to make such squabbles a front-page lead

  • 24 October 2016 – Yet another Cape Times front page lead about ‘racism’ which sank without trace and which no other news outlet saw fit to cover was ‘Textbook case of racism’ in which it was not stated that Western culture is superior but allegedly ‘implied’ in a tiny fraction of the text books delivered in their millions to thousands of school throughout the country.

You might, as an average South African, think that you had more newsworthy matters impacting on your life that day but, to Aneez Salie, it was  another golden opportunity to imply that racism is pervasive in this country despite the contrary being proved year upon year by the Institute of Race Relations annual survey and despite daily examples of the good will which we display to one another in the most heart-warming ways – see here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

  • 20 June 2018

Wherever possible Anees Salie will dress up incidents which purport to manifest white racism with the headlines that are as evocative of apartheid oppression as possible. A year ago, it was Nick, Naas still baas, Ashwin still Klaas.

  • 25 June 2018

An investigation by the rugby authorities found no evidence of racism, nothing further has been heard and Ashwin Willemse is laughing all the way to the bank

These are just a fraction of such ethnically-divisive front page leads which have appeared since Aneez Salie was appointed editor of a once-respected, traditional legacy institution in March 2015, and the antipathy towards white people has been constantly expressed in this newspaper since then.

Iqbal Survé’s UCT speech on 7 April 2015 – in which he called for a purge of white senior academic and administrative staff – was not, in my opinion, the only public articulation of his antipathy towards white people.

He raged and raved against ‘white institutions’ and ‘white networks’ during his testimony before the Mpati commission in April which resulted in an interjection from commissioner Gill Marcus.

Within Sekunjalo Independent Media an openly expressed animus against white people has not, furthermore, been confined to the owner of the company.

Here’s a Facebook posting by one of more than a hundred former employees who no longer work for the technically-insolvent Sekunjalo Independent Media company.  Karima Brown spewed ethnic animosity against white people in general and Helen Zille in particular in March 2015 when she supported Eusebius McKaiser after his social media meltdown. You can find it at the end of this Politicsweb article.

“Long gone are the days where we explain ourselves to White politicians. Especially ones (sic) that tries (sic) to undermine and underplay the disastrous impact of racism, whiteness and its attendant entitlement. You stand on the shoulders of giants and you inspire so many young and old to live authentically and with purpose. Helen Zille is a bully who has an overdeveloped Madam complex. She has yet to answer to the substantive issues raised by the widest range of people on her crude attempt to use political power to determine the reading choices of the Western Cape government. As you said elsewhere. Whiteness and its hegemony stops right here and right now. We ain’t taking this shit no more!!”

A similar animus was displayed by her then colleague, Vukani Mde – also a former employee of a company which refuses to service a billion rand loan – who came up with the bizarre notion of the ‘white internet’.

In an article Brown and Mde authored in late 2013 as a prelude to the coming purge, white staff were overtly threatened.

Despite scandal after scandal, Iqbal Survé has never curbed Aneez Salie’s ethically-deficient conduct as editor of the Cape Times.

Anyone who questions Survé’s conduct is simply dismissed as dishonest or  anti-transformation or a racist or a ‘Stratcom’ agent or funded by the CIA  or the local equivalent of Bell Pottinger and his company’s newspaper posters drive home his message.

Perhaps a little introspection from Survé and Salie is called for – particularly within the context of their campaign called ‘Racism Stops With Me’.

The denouement is still to come.

In a few weeks’ time Tafelberg will publish an exposé on ‘the other Mandela doctor’ by former editors Alide Dasnois and Chris Whitfield and, in the same timeframe we can expect President Cyril Ramaphosa to release the findings of the Mpati commission where, in my opinion, Iqbal Survé lied under oath.

At the same time, the SANEF commission is collecting evidence of unethical reporting and I have little doubt that the tenure of Aneez Salie as Cape Times editor will feature strongly in the submissions to it.

And, all the while, the scandals and the retrenchments continue and, at the time of writing, the AYO shares which the Public Investment Corporation bought for R43  with civil servant pension money  – at a total cost of R4.3 billion and at a seemingly manipulated share price – are now worth R6 and are effectively worthless because nobody is buying them.

This is a matter of profound public interest because none of these abuses would have occurred had the Public Investment Corporation not extended an utterly illogical and politically motivated R1 billion loan to Iqbal Survé which he is now refusing to repay.

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Ed Herbst started his news career as a photographer with the Natal Witness in 1968 but quickly switched to reporting while retaining an interest in photography. He joined the SABC in its Pretoria news office as a camera reporter in 1977, one year after television was introduced in South Africa. In 1978 he was seconded to the SABC’s Windhoek office for six months to cover the run-up to the country’s UN-monitored election and was then posted to the SABC’s Sea Point news office. He asked for early retirement in 2005 because of pervasive SABC corruption, news censorship and unaddressed abusive treatment of staff. From 2007 to 2009 he was employed as a consultant in the media department of the Cape Town municipality but became a pensioner when personal circumstances forced him to retire. He now writes without remuneration for local websites about the interface between media and politics. He is writing a book on media capture after 1994.

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