8 May 2020

Dear Odwa,

Your article entitled “Thornton resident’s case postponed” on page 3 of the Cape Times on 8 May 2020 refers.

I am concerned about consistent inaccurate reporting by Independent Newspapers on Communicare. The current article is a case in point. I wish topoint out the following inaccuracies:

1. The headline state that the case was postponed. There was no case. Communicare met with the judge in chambers. That is all that happened. The statement is clear about this.

2. The story consistently refers to “tenants” at Albatross. These are not tenants. These are people who illegally hijacked a building and unlawfully occupied it. A criminal case has been lodged. The statement is clear about this.

3. Communicare has noted your repeated use of Neville Petersen as a sole source of information who has been discredited for peddling incorrect information about Communicare yet you consistently use him as a sole source. Have you verified any of his claims? This is was brought to the attention of Independent Newspapers in a case before your own ombuds which you lost. The statement is clear about this.

4. Mr Petersen claims to represent the Communicare Tenant Beneficiaries. We have never heard of this organisation. You may have detected a trend of Mr Petersen appointing himself to non-existent organisations. Have you checked if such an organisation exists and who they represent?

5. You claim that our tenants are harassed. What evidence do you have to support your claim of harassment?

6. Note that Communicare is not a purely social housing institution. Only 2 of our complexes are social housing as regulated by the SHRA. Drommedaris Pilot Project -first occupied in 2010 and Bothasig Gardens Phase 2 -first occupied in 2012. Combined, these are 339 units. This constitutes 10% of all the units we manage.

I would appreciate a follow-up story to clarify the facts. You have the statement and reference to other press releases as well as the documents on the Independent Media Ombuds ruling.

Regards
Michelle Mattheee

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