Mogol Post received this letter from the Communications Department of Lephalale Local Municipality regarding the front page article of the 17 August edition: “Defamation of Character”.
Mogol Post takes note of the content of the letter, however, it should be stated that the “journalist” made several attempts to contact the Mayor with no success. It must also be stated that it is extremely difficult and frustrating not to receive comments from the Municipality within the required deadlines.
The Municipality has noted with serious concern the article published by the Mogol Post Newspaper titled Defamation of Character on the 17 August 2018.
The contents of the article are unfounded, frivolous and misleading. For starters proper journalistic principle and ethics were not followed as Road Agency Limpopo which is the custodian of the project and the Municipality was not afforded an opportunity to comment on the article prior publishing, in line with the basic journalism principle of audi alteram partem. The audi alteram partem is a Latin phrase meaning “listen to the other side”, or “let the other side be heard as well”. It is the principle that emphasize that no person should be judged without a fair hearing in which each party is given the opportunity to respond to the allegations against them.
To put the record straight, the honourable Mayor of Lephalale Local Municipality did not appoint a Community Liaison Officer (CLO). It is the responsibility of Road Agency Limpopo (RAL) jointly with the appointed social consultant to identify and appoint qualifying candidates to be shortlisted and interviewed. To date no CLO has been appointed and the process of appointing the CLO and other available positions which comprises of skilled and unskilled labour is currently underway.
Furthermore it is disheartening that the Journalist responsible for writing this article excluded information on the fact that a group of people barged in to Lesedi Tshukudu Thusong Centre Community Hall, disrupted the Mayor while he was addressing the community and started throwing and burning chairs. These are pure acts of criminality and we hope that the law will take its course on these elements which are clearly against development in Lephalale. The Five month project to recycle (preventative maintenance) the D1675 (Lephalale/Steenbokpan Road) is expected to be completed end of this year.
Lephalale Municipality appreciates the role played by the media to expose corruption or any anti Batho Pele practice. But it is totally unacceptable that this journalist uses this noble course to attack the Mayor with impunity by even scooping as low as to a level of claiming that the Mayor has taken over the responsibility of employing workers for a company. This journalist should appreciate the fact that the Mayor has a huge responsibility of building the first city for the democratic South Africa.
It is saddening that this journalist has abandoned objectives of journalism by reducing it to spew vitriol instead of enlightening its readership on how to grabble with matters such as corruption with maturity.