South Africa

Apology to Farhad and Junaid Dockrat and our readers

By Daily Maverick Editorial Team 19 June 2013

Daily Maverick published an article by De Wet Potgieter entitled “Al-Qaeda: Alive and well in South Africa” dated 13 May 2013, which was posted on the Daily Maverick website. After an exhaustive internal process, we now can acknowledge that there were inaccuracies in relation to Farhad and Junaid Dockrat in the article and we wish to set the record straight.

It is correct that in December 2006, the United States Treasury listed Farhad Dockrat and Junaid Dockrat on its list of persons associated with terrorism who would be the subject of certain sanctions.

It is correct that Farhad Dockrat and Junaid Dockrat were placed on the US Sanctions List. We wish to record that in 2007, South Africa objected to the proposal of the United States that Farhad and Junaid Dockrat be placed on the United Nations’ Al-Qaeda Sanctions List. However, we acknowledge that it is significant that they were not also placed on the UN list, and our article should have emphasised this more than just state that Farhad and Junaid Docrat deny the US claims.

We were wrong to say in our article that Farhad Dockrat lost a court case that was brought concerning certain water rights on his farm, Greylock. Although some farmers in the area told us that the dispute was resolved in their favour, we accept that this was not the case and that the opposite was true.

We acknowledge that we are not in possession of evidence to show that Farhad Dockrat or Junaid Dockrat are linked to Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organisation, or that Farhad Dockrat was seeking seclusion on Greylock, or in Tsitsikama, for the purposes of establishing terrorist training camps or that Farhad Dockrat and Junaid Dockrat were conducting any illegal activities.

Our article suggested these links and also that there is a strong Al-Qaeeda presence in South Africa. We unequivocally and unconditionally apologise to Farhad, Farouk, Suliman and Junaid Dockrat and the Muslim community of South Africa and retract this allegation. We regret the inconvenience and distress it has caused to the Dockrat family and furthermore, apologise and withdraw the allegations.

We have, under the circumstances, and in the interest of good and ethical investigative journalism, agreed to remove the article from our website. DM

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