Deadline has passed – we are going to the press ombudsman!

From: Edwin Angless
Subject: Re: Amazon and the River Club
Date: 20 August 2021 at 20:01:36 SAST
To: [email protected]
Cc: Edwin Angless

Dear Robyn,
I refer to the emails I have sent to you querying the origin and approach to the articles referred to below, which have received no response or comment from yourself.
These are serious journalistic issues of integrity. If you would like to respond to this email, please do so by Tuesday 24 August.
If we do not hear from you by Tuesday, we will have no option other than to approach the press ombudsman for recourse.
Kind regards
Edwin Angless
OCA Comms

On 16 Jul 2021, at 14:44, Edwin Angless wrote:
Dear Robyn,
I am wondering if you received the email below which I sent just over a month ago as I have not received a response.
I noted with concern that your excellent article “Knobbkierries and Rifles” was deleted a few days after publication. Are you able to share the reason (or reasons) for this with me? Has it been officially retracted and why?
I saved it at the time it was still available, and have attached it to this email.
I then noted that this was followed by several articles in rapid succession, which seemed to come entirely from the Developer’s point of view, reading very much like advertorials as they weren’t attributed to yourself or any other journalist, were entirely one-sided, and included inaccuracies and false statements in line with the Developer’s rhetoric. I also note that at the end of one of these articles the words “pictures supplied” appeared (with no byline) – which begs the question: by whom?

I refer to these articles:

R4bn River Club development removing the cycle of Khoi and San invisibility

The River Club: Here’s why this new development will enhance the area’s biodiversity

Historic first: signing of a Heritage Social Compact at the River Club

So my questions to you as editor of Cape Town etc are as follows:
Were the articles referred to above published on Cape Town etc in exchange for any payment or benefit?
How were these articles originated? Were they commissioned or did external parties approach CapeTownEtc to publish these articles?
Did any outside organisation write the articles?
Were you pressurised to withdraw the article “knobkieries and rifles”?
(pdf attached), and for what reason?
Do you believe the articles were published consistent with CapeTownetc’s commitment to independent journalism?
Finally I would like to assert my “right of reply” to the above-mentioned articles. Please can you contact me by reply email or on 082 552 8491, as a matter of urgency.

As the Media officer for the Observatory Civic Association I am beholden to follow up on this matter and take action to resolve this issue.

Edwin Angless
The future is not what it used to be

On 11 Jun 2021, at 15:50, Edwin Angless wrote:

HI Robyn
Firstly, let me say that as someone who has been closely following the River Club saga for the past 3 years, your articles yesterday in cape{town}etc (see here) were some of the most perspicacious and well researched that I’ve ever seen on this subject!
As the media officer for the Observatory Civic, I have been tasked with getting a comment from Amazon, which I have thus far failed to do due to my not being able to get the contact info of the relevant people there. I was thus very interested to see in your article that you had been able to approach Amazon for a comment. The fact that they didn’t give you one is irrelevant to my question though. My question is simply: would you be able to share with me the contact details that you were able to obtain for Amazon?
There are also a couple of other points that you made in your brilliant article which I’d love to engage with you on, but I think it would be easier to do so on a phone conversation, rather than an email. Would you mind sending me your phone number or calling me on 082 552 8491?
Looking forward to either hearing back from you about your Amazon contacts by email or through a phone call at a time convenient to you.
Kind regards
Edwin Angless
(OCA Comms)