Phil Louw from De Wildt writes;
Freedom of the press and expression is so topical these days, whether controversial or not, that accurate reporting is sometimes compromised for the sake of a story. Regrettably the Kormorant fell into this trap when it published the story “Don’t touch our Bluegums” notwithstanding having been cautioned not to do so.
One could speculate about the purpose and motive but ultimately it created an unnecessary storm in a tea cup. The article was intentional and its aim was to rouse up a lot of emotional interest without having considered the facts. Ultimately a follow up article “R513 giants fall” was unavoidable but also a feeble retraction.
An orchestrated attempt to noticeably drum up support by “tying ribbons” around the trunks of some of these trees actually exposed the perpetrator’s lack of knowledge because some of the worst examples were targeted. By implication the whole episode suggested that the De Wildt community leaders were irresponsible and prone to being reactionary rather than proactive decision takers.
The reality is that the very trees have been an agenda item and talking point of the De Wildt Helpmekaar Company directors for the past three years, primarily from a road user’s point of view. Safety and safety considerations in respect of the R513 are extremely important given the consistent increase in road traffic. As a responsible body with care and concern for its residents and all road users, the DWHC actively engaged all the road and traffic authorities in this regard and have been instrumental in the preventative action being taken.
DWHC has as one of its portfolios the Peglarae Conservancy, which is indicative of the value that the residents attach to maintaining their pristine environment through good nature and conservation management practices. The strong resentment to prospecting in the area bears testimony to that fact.
Your inconsiderate article was a waste of emotional energy and clearly wasted individuals valuable time which could have been spent more productively had you sought the facts before going on a shopping spree.
(Also see Editorial comment)