For the record

Published May 21, 2023


The Sunday Independent wishes to extend condolences to the Rhoode family for their loss. We have noted the complaint from Lynn Abrahams on the manner in which the death of Wally Rhoode’s son Warren was reported.

We, hereby, wish to state that there was no malice intended when reporting on this matter, and we duly stated that these were allegations.

The article was not politically motivated and is not meant to keep the Phala Phala saga alive (we are still following the Phala Phala saga closely).

The article was intended to show that the ripple effect of the Phala Phala saga has put a lot innocent people’s lives in danger.

Sunday Independent apologises for the hurt caused to the Rhoode family.

This follows a letter from Lynn Abrahams | ANCWL RTT Convenor, which stated:

Cheap and sensational Journalism! This article is in response to an article, “WALLY RHOODE’S SON KILLED: Unconfirmed reports claim he was killed in retaliation for his father’s role in the clandestine Phala Phala probe”, written by Mzilikazi Wa Afrika and published in the Sunday Independent on May 07, 2023.

In the article Mzilikazi Wa Afrika, claims that an unconfirmed report, claims that Warren Rhoode was “kidnapped and killed in retaliation for his father’s role in the Phala Phala Clandestine investigation”.

Quoting a Cape Town based underworld source, the article claims that Warren was a harmless boy who could not hurt a fly, but that his father made many enemies, “especially during the Phala Phala investigation”.

The quoted source further stated that “this is not a fact, but merely an allegation”.

This article is not only scandalous, insensitive, cruel, and sensational but smells like a politically motivated attempt to keep the Phala Phala saga alive in the public domain.

To have politically factionalised the murder of Warren Rhoode was not only desecrating the memory of a beloved son, but also disrespectful to his parents, his siblings, family, and friends. Warren and his family did not deserve this.

No parent should be going through the pain of burying their children, and whist processing the

way he or she was taken from them, be exposed to such vulgarity and unethical journalism.

Listening to his grief-stricken family at the funeral, expressing their pain and anger of beings robbed of this young life, who they described as well-mannered, soft spoken, loving and always ready to assist others, was a painful reminder of the violence that has underpinned our communities and the fact that our children are no longer safe to move around freely.

Many innocent lives are ripped away from families under very cruel circumstances and families are left behind to pick up the pieces and process the brutality in which their children had died. The tears of Warren’s family are also the tears of thousands of families across the country who suffered the same fate because of violent crimes in our country.

The 3rd quarter crime statistics (October to December 2022) released in February 2023, reveals that the national murder rate has increased by 10.1% with 7555 murders committed during this period, 696 murders more than the previous quarter.

The Western Cape, ranking fourth on the provincial list, recorded 1198 murders between October to December 2022.

In this same quarter, 751 carjackings in the Western Cape has been reported.

Delft, an area riddled with crime, is listed amongst the top 30 police stations where serious crime was reported across the country. Listed as number 17, a total of 1 685 serious

crimes has been reported in Delft during this period which amounts to a 2.4% increase. In July to September 2022, Delft ranked at number 15 on the list of the top 30 carjacking areas across the country, amounting to 52 car jackings for the reported period.

An increase of 44.4% from the previous reporting term.

Sadly, the author of the article, did not consider these stats when he wrote and published an article riddled with allegations from an underworld source. No journalistic integrity and no compassion to humanity was applied when writing this article.

This type of cheap journalism does not only disregard the immeasurable pain and grief of the Rhoode family, but also the thousands of families who had to bury their beloved who were killed in carjackings and crime across the country. In fact, this type of articles diminishes the plight for safer communities and instead encourages criminality to continue unabatedly because a journalist will write an article, shifting the focus away from them.

The sick cycle of criminality and the dying of our children daily, must stop and cannot be normalised. As the ANC Women’s League in the Dullah Omar region, we are calling on Mzilikazi Wa Afrika to desist from using a family’s pain and grief to score cheap political points. He must retract his article and apologise to the Rhoode family as well as the thousands of other families who lost their loved ones.

In our view as the Women’s League in Dullah Omar region, having known the Independent Group over many years and many of its esteemed journalists, we think the article by Mzilikazi wa Afrika does a huge disservice and dishonour to them.

Perhaps, the Independent Media may find it wise to reach out to the Rhoode family and apologise for the hurt visited to the family by this article.

It trumps everything

Sunday Independent