|Legal charges by Dockrat family impelled Daily Maverick apology|
Radio Islam has discovered that the Daily Maverick issued apologies and retraction under threat of legal action by the Dockrat family. Radio Islam is in possession of lengthy correspondence between the attorneys Shaheed Dollie Inc, representing Mr Farhad Ahmed Dockrat and Webber Wentzel Attorneys and Lawyers representing the Daily Maverick alluding to an apology issued solely to save themselves from a litany of charges.
Retraction of what is now known to be a fabricated exposé about Al Qaeda activities within a South African Muslim family and the South African Muslim community was issued by the Daily Maverick yesterday. The story together with its damning consequences was splayed over front-pages when it broke and ran as headline news on radio stations, particularly Radio 702’s EWN.
Amongst the issues related to the defamation suit against Mr Farhad Dockrat, (Shaheed Dollie Inc, Attorneys at Law) stated:
The nature of the defamatory statements in this article is unlike a regular defamatory article of and concerning an individual. It is infused with strong racial stereotyping, anti-Muslim sentiments including xenophobic hate speech, which require special application of the principle of damages to our law of defamation.
In so far as demands made by the clients of Mr Dollie:
“We are instructed to record (with prejudice), that in spite of the [R 3,000, 000.00] damages claim herein, our client’s damages may well be reduced significantly (in which case our client may decide not to proceed with any action) should the Daily Maverick and Potgieter jointly offer an unqualified apology in respect of the article, and retract the allegations made therein, provided that the wording of the short apology is prepared by our client. Whether you wish to remove the defamatory article from your website is a matter for you to consider.”
Legal representatives of the Daily Maverick and De Wet Potgieter acknowledged their client’s received the letter of demand on the 17th May. Daily Maverick published the article by De Wet Potgieter titled “Al-Qaeda: Alive and well in South Africa” on 13 May 2013.
Their apology included the following statements:
“After an exhaustive internal process, we now can acknowledge that there were inaccuracies in relation to Farhad and Junaid Dockrat in the article and we wish to set the record straight. Our article suggested these links and also that there is a strong Al-Qaeeda presence in South Africa. We unequivocally and unconditionally apologise to Farhad and Junaid Dockrat and the Muslim community of South Africa and retract this allegation. We regret the inconvenience and distress it has caused to Farhad and Junaid Dockrat and the Dockrat family.
We have, under the circumstances, and in the interest of good and ethical investigative journalism, agreed to remove the article from our website.”
Details of the defamation claim to follow. Radio Islam International.