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Housing activists admit they were behind fake Plato statement

01 October 2019 - 11:36 By Dave Chambers
The housing activist group Reclaim the City was behind a fake e-mail from the mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato.
The housing activist group Reclaim the City was behind a fake e-mail from the mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato.
Image: GroundUp/Ashraf Hendricks

Housing activist group Reclaim the City admitted on Tuesday that it sent out a spoof media release from the mayor of Cape Town.

The statement was made to look like a genuine city of Cape Town release — including the typography and layout — and announced five new policies aimed at desegregating the city.

Reclaim the City spokesperson Zachariah Mashele denied knowledge of the spoof, but his colleague Jared Rossouw admitted the organisation had concocted it and sent it using a City of Cape Town e-mail suffix.

“It was in no way intended to mislead,” said Rossouw, saying the organisation planned to follow it up about nine hours later with an e-mail admitting it was fake.

The city alerted media organisations to the fake e-mail, but said it would not comment further.

Mayor Dan Plato has twice issued statements in the past two weeks correcting “misinformation” disseminated by Reclaim the City and other activist organisations.

* An article previously published on TimesLIVE based on the Reclaim the City statement has since been removed.


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