Debora Patta to apologise to FF Plus leader over racism

2010-07-06 15:06 has confirmed that 3rd Degree’s Debora Patta will apologise

for accusing Freedom Front Plus student leader Chrisna de Kock of racism.

“In hindsight and having viewed the edited programme, 3rd Degree

came to the conclusion that the manner in which the allegation was put across

was unfortunate. It is for this reason that 3rd Degree retracted the comment and

apologised to Ms de Kock,” said spokesperson Vasili Vass.

During the interview on 3rd Degree aired on May 25, Vass said it

was put to De Kock that she was a racist. She denied this. He added that at no

stage were any accusations made against the FF Plus.

The FF Plus submitted a complaint to the Broadcasting Complaints

Commission of SA (BCCSA) about Patta’s treatment of De Kock during the


“During the interview with Ms De Kock, Ms Patta came across very

aggressively and did not give Ms De Kock an opportunity to answer on her

allegations of racism,” said FF Plus parliamentary spokesperson Anton


“The information which Ms Patta used was also factually incorrect,

but she nonetheless used it as a platform to place Ms De Kock, Afrikaners and

the FF Plus in a negative light.”

De Kock is the vice-president of the Student Representative Council

on the campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). A video made by four

white UFS students last year sparked outrage as it depicted black workers taking

part in an initiation-like ritual which included kneeling to eat food into which

a student had allegedly urinated.

Alberts called on Patta and to apologise ahead of the BCCSA


The broadcaster and Patta agreed to do so.

“By offering an apology, Deborah Patta and acknowledge that

they had made a mistake and exceeded journalistic boundaries with the production

of an insert on racism at the UFS for 3rd Degree,” said Alberts.

However, Vass said the apology was for calling De Kock a racist and

3rd Degree did not “exceed journalistic boundaries”.

He said the broadcaster also believed that the party was in breach

of the agreement concluded at the BCCSA by raising the issues in the media and

that this was “regrettable”.

The complaints against Patta and the programme were dropped.

The apology would be aired tonight on 3rd Degree.

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