Friday, 22 November 2013

A Letter to the Editor of De Telegraaf, Amsterdam. UPDATED

Letters to the Editor
De Telegraaf

Dear Sir/Madam

The article “Moeder van drie” by Catherine Keyl (De Telegraaf, wo 20 nov 2013) refers.

As the author of the world’s only history of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) of South Africa,* I must point out that the above article is completely untrue.

It is also one of the worst examples of poor research and rumour-based gutter journalism that I have ever seen.

The article claims that right wing whites are killing white farmers with the intention of blaming blacks and stirring up racial tension, and that a “mother of three,” one Cornelia de Wet, has “confessed” to taking part in these murders.

However, Ms Keyl has failed to do the most basic research—which would be expected of any professional journalist—before publishing this incredible claim.

I wish to point out just some of the basic facts which should have been checked before the article was published:

1. De Wet’s allegations were rejected in court by the South African police at an unrelated trial on 4 November 2013—TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE ARTICLE BY MS KEYL APPEARED in De Telegraaf.

A police officer rejected claims by a rightwing woman that she played a part in the Steenkamp murders on a farm near Griquatown last year, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Monday.
“There is no truth in these allegations,” investigating officer Dick de Waal testified.

2. The police investigating the farm murder upon which the claim centers, rejected  De Wet’s allegations as completely untrue and without basis on 31 October 2013—THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE ARTICLE BY MS KEYL APPEARED in De Telegraaf.

[D]ie polisie “twyfel sterk” oor haar weergawe. Die polisie twyfel oor haar weergawe van gebeure, omdat sy dit glo reeds verskeie kere verander het en nié bepaalde uitwysings kon doen nie.— GW-stad: ‘Daar’s net 1’, Volksblad,  31 Oktober 2013

3. Tobie van den Bergh, editor of the Middelburg Observer in Mpumalanga, who has known Cornelia de Wet since she was 16, has said that she has previously made “amazing confessions” to the press about “right wing activities and farm murders” which have all proven to be completely false.

He gave two examples of such claims:

- Once, De Wet and her mother presented themselves “in bloodied clothes” at his newspaper offices, claiming that they had been tortured by blacks with razor blades. Van Den Bergh said it was obvious that they had cut themselves in an “attempt to draw attention to themselves.”

- Another time, De Wet claimed to him that she had been raped by “her bosses in the right wing.”

Needless to say, none of these wild allegations were taken seriously by anybody, the police included. Van den Bergh added that De Wet was “in urgent need of psychiatric treatment.”


De Wet, wat op 29 Mei verlede jaar in hegtenis geneem is en weer op 28 November in die hof moet verskyn, het voorheen ook al “opspraakwekkende onthullings” rondom plaasmoorde of regse bedrywighede teenoor die media gedoen.
Tobie van den Bergh, redakteur van die Middelburg Observer in Mpumalanga, sê hy voel baie jammer vir De Wet.
“Sy het dringend sielkundige hulp nodig. Ek ken haar vandat sy 16 jaar oud is. Sy en haar ma het baie kere, in ’n bebloede toestand, in my kantoor gesit. Albei het beweer swart mense het hulle met lemmetjies gemartel.
“Ek is nie ’n kenner nie, maar glo hulle het hulself gesny om aandag te trek en ’n soort belangrikheid te kry. Sy wil graag ’n indruk maak op haar base in die regse bewegings. Sy het ook al beweer haar regse base het haar verkrag.”— GW-stad: ‘Daar’s net 1’, Volksblad, 31 Oktober 2013.

4. The man named by De Wet as being the head of the “security firm” which carried out the attacks, has been publicly identified as Jac Sherman.

He has denied even knowing De Wet, and has dismissed the allegations as “nothing but lies.”


Jaco Scherman, accused of being the mastermind behind the alleged “hit squad” responsible for the murders of three members of the Steenkamp family in Griquatown, has denied ever meeting white female farmer and member of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), Cornelia de Wet.
“These allegations are nothing but lies. She has a personal vendetta against me after I refused that she use my company as a front to raise money. She is absolutely crazy. I have never met her and do not know where she lives. I have only spoken to her on the telephone twice,” Scherman said.—Security boss denies AWB hit squad claim, Diamond Fields Advertiser, Independent Online, November 1 2013.

As I am sure you will now see, the article by Ms Keyl is completely untrue.

Furthermore, all the facts had been published and were in the public domain THREE WEEKS BEFORE De Telegraaf printed her story.

The situation with farm murders in South Africa is bad enough as it is.

This completely false and gutter journalism of Ms Keyl’s only adds to the problem and spreads lies about an already tragic situation.

I do hope that in the interests of your newspaper’s credibility that you publish this letter—or at the very least, issue a complete retraction, apology and correction of  the article in question.

Yours sincerely
Arthur Kemp

* Victory or Violence: The Story of the AWB of South Africa ISBN 978-1471067464.

UPDATE 25 November. Ms Keyl has advised that she was "misled" by her South African sources and has undertaken to correct the article.....

1 comment:

AWD said...

Good show, Arthur Kemp!