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‘The Witness' supporting lawbreakers
08 Feb 2012

THE story about the Mills Circle development (The Witness, February 3) provides an interesting irony.

The story presented by the developer clearly relies on legal compliance. The objectors present the law as a fool by deliberately quoting Judge John Didcott out of context. The objectors have no legal grounds to object and therefore attempt to lessen the importance of the law and make it an emotive issue.

While one does not dispute the right of any newspaper to put a twist on a headline to attract readership, surely journalistic excellence requires an unbiased presentation of the facts?

This article is not by any stretch of the imagination an unbiased perspective on the matter at hand. The photos and 90% of the printed story were supplied by the objectors. The developer was allowed only 500 words to convey his message and this clearly was not a constraint placed on the objectors.

The newspaper may well argue that it has final editorial control and no bias was intended. However, the outcome is quite the opposite. The developer has broken no laws, while the objectors have broken numerous laws and the whole objection has no basis in law. Yet the support of the newspaper is clearly for the lawbreaker.

The Witness has indirectly endorsed the unlawful acts of an objector and created bias against the law-abiding developer.

Rob Smorfitt
Pietermaritzburg





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