De Wet Potgieter’s year-long investigative piece on Al Qaeda being alive and well in South Africa has been met with scorn and derision, even internet memes by South Africans. Even City Press editor Ferial Haffajee had a tongue-in-cheek go at the stale allegations made in the story that broke on the online news and analysis portal Daily Maverick yesterday: ‘Long ago, I got sent to report on an "Al-Qaeda" cell learning karate. Turned out to be a lot of (slightly overweight) guys I grew up with.”
Mostly South African’s have argued that the title of the article is factually incorrect and if there was real evidence to present, it should have been presented to the appropriate Government Intelligence agencies in SA to investigate and prosecute on the basis of concrete evidence.
Political analyst Ebrahim Fakir’s thoughts when spoke to Sabahul Muslim’s Ml Sulaimaan Ravat, on Radio Islam this morning are summarised below:
"Though we cannot outright deny or accept the claims, the article is factually weak with no mention of sources or offer for corroboration. I have issue with the subtle racial profiling of the Dockrat family at the core of the rehashed expose, and the Islamophobia it breeds. Juniorization in newsrooms leads to stories that sell, not those with factual merit. Hussein Solomons, who’s so-called analysis makes for fact in this article, has a known work ethic of making evidence fit the conclusion, not lead to it. Similarly, though SA Intelligence may not be the best they are definitely not so foolhardy as to ignore a genuine terrorist threat."
Radio Islam Programming