Media release

E-mail with unreliable statistics

14 February 2000

14 February 2000

Noting that some journalists are still being misled by a false e-mail, despite reports in the City Press and the Star explaining its origins, GCIS would like to clarify the matter.

The e-mail contains statistics alleging to indicate criminality and corruption amongst members of parliament in South Africa. The e-mail in question is one making allegations about members of the United States Congress, which has been circulating in the United States, as can be verified by anyone with access to most Internet Search Engines.

Some person or organisation with malicious intentions towards South Africa simply replaced the words "United States Congress" by the words "South African Government", leaving every other word and statistic unchanged, and then started circulating it across the Internet in order to create a negative picture of democratic South Africa.

GCIS urges journalists to be cautious when receiving such material, whether by e-mail or otherwise, and in particular to insist on authoritative sources for statistics. GCIS is available, through the Government Online website and through its Media Services, to provide journalists with assistance should they require.

GCIS also encourages ordinary citizens and those throughout the world whose support for the reconstruction and development of our country is invaluable, to make use of GCIS services to help challenge such negative publicity which they know to be untrue.

Mr Y Abba Omar
Tel: 012 314 2182

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)


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