Cape Times demo: plot thickens

| Terry Bell
R2K protestors against Sekunjalo outside the Cape Times yesterday. Photo by Gareth Dawson.

It now appears that it was the fairly recently ordained pastor and political changeling, Wesley Douglas, who was one of the organisers of the group that gatecrashed a Right to Know (R2K) protest in Cape Town yesterday.

A former member of the ANC Youth League, Douglas later joined the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), got involved in the travel business and, four years ago, became a Pentecostal pastor.

Another of the organisers, who spent much of her time at the protest busily tweeting about “DA police”, claimed to be a lawyer who was protesting because of the “racist bias” in the media. She gave her name to a fellow journalist as Leanne Neethling. This is the name of a person who studied law at Unisa and who happens to be the “policy, investor relations and research officer” in the office of Iqbal Survé, putative owner of Independent Newspapers (INL).

Both Douglas and Neethling organised the gatecrash protest in the name of the very recently formed Movement for the Transformation of Media in South Africa (MTMSA) that apparently includes the Progressive Professionals Forum, headed by the controversial Jimmy Manyi. Douglas gives his contact details as the Hillsong Church and his occupation as “CEO at Hillsong Africa Foundation”. But he also now “oversees the social media unit” in the Western Cape for the ANC.

The R2K protest outside the offices of INL was to demand editorial independence, freedom of information and the reinstatement of sacked Cape Times editor, Alide Dasnois. According to the gatecrashers, who carried expensively produced placards and full colour glossy posters, Dasnois was not sacked but “redeployed” for failing to lead the Cape Times front page with the death of Nelson Mandela.

However, Dasnois and her editorial team produced a four page wraparound that gave the Cape Times an effective new front page, followed by three pages of detail about the life and times of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Only hours after Dasnois was effectively dismissed as editor, Time magazine in the United States voted the Cape Times coverage as one of the 14 best Mandela front pages in the world.

See also: Goons attempt to disrupt protest for press freedom.

TOPICS:  Civil Society Corruption Human Rights Politics

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