Cape court hears of bogus UK journo

2011-08-17 21:40
Cape Town - Freelance journalist Raymond Joseph was furious upon realising he was misled by alleged bogus British reporter Shumsheer Singh Ghumman, the Regional Court in Cape Town heard on Wednesday.

Joseph testified at Ghumman's trial on charges of fraud, incitement to commit murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

On the fraud charge, Ghumman is alleged to have fraudulently pretended to be a British freelance photo-journalist, with an assignment to do a picture-story about gangster violence in Cape Town.

He pretended at first to be Michael Attwood, and then Michael Kirkham.

In this way, he allegedly duped Joseph as well as Steve Kretzman, editor of the news agency West Cape News (WCN), as well as WCN reporter Sandiso Phaliso, into introducing him to gangsters involved in violent crime.

Prosecuting counsel Billy Downer alleges Ghumman's true intention was to find a "hitman" to petrol bomb the Clifton home of Philip Rhind, father of United Kingdom PR executive, Hannah Rhind.

The father had asked Ghumman to stop harassing his daughter.

Joseph told the court he had received an e-mail from Michael Attwood, requesting Joseph to arrange a meeting for him with Cape Flats gangsters, for the purpose of the assignment.

Joseph said the practice of arranging such introductions was known in journalism as "fixing", for which a fee was charged.

The practice was very common in Johannesburg, he said.

Journalists in danger

He said he did not know Attwood from a bar of soap, nor had he heard of him before.

He said the e-mails contained all the correct journalistic phraseology, and he had no reason to believe it was bogus.

Joseph said Attwood later informed him that a Michael Kirkham would be doing the assignment instead.

Joseph then passed the e-mails on to Kretzman, whose reporter, Phaliso, was better positioned to organise meetings with gangsters.

The court heard Phaliso in fact took Kirkham to meet gangsters.

Joseph told the court: "The next thing, Kretzman phoned me to say he was very annoyed because Kirkham had only paid part of the agreed fixing fee, and had then disappeared off the face of the earth."

He later received another call from Kretzman.

"[He] said I won't believe what's happened, and that Kirkham had been arrested."

Joseph said he did not know that Kirkham was in fact Ghumman.

He said the use of pseudonyms in journalism was frowned upon, especially undercover operations such as doing stories under a false name.

"What concerns me is that this kind of undercover operation places journalists in danger," Joseph said.

The trial continues on Thursday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    shumsheer singh ghumman  |  cape town
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.