11 December 2001: Bullying the media, controlling public opinion

A reporter from Daily News contacted me and asked me about the armed robbery at my store. I handed him a copy of the surveillance video as he was writing a story about the incident.

The next day I received a call from Booysen. He was clearly upset, derailed and threatening me, that I will end up in jail because I spoke to the journalist and gave him a copy of the video without speaking to him first. Fear came over me.

I purchased a copy of the newspaper article titled “Top cop: hero or coward?” referring to Booysen’s actions during the armed robbery at my store and in my opinion this article was a reasonably accurate reflection of what happened. I avoided speaking to Booysen for a while.

After Letisha Booysen, Johan Booysen’s wife and a close friend of mine, intervened, Johan visited me and apologised for the manner he spoke to me over the phone. He told me that it was all taken care of, he went to the offices of Daily News and threatened them to remove all copies of the article as well as get rid of Farhana Ismail, the journalist who wrote it. Booysen told me proudly that he had intimidated the journalist, who had to leave Durban.

He also arranged for a police firearm to be assigned to me for permanent use as a peace officer, since my own handgun had recently been stolen. Many other state firearms and police equipment were assigned to me by Johan Booysen.

Top Cop Hero or Coward 1

Top Cop Hero or Coward 2

Top Cop Hero or Coward 3

In the days that followed, the same news media organisation published an article that exonerated Booysen for his cowardly actions during the armed robbery, and I was strictly instructed by him not to comment.

This is another incident of media capture by a powerful and corrupted High Ranking Police Officer. All records of the newspaper article titled “Top cop: hero or coward?” has been erased. Freedom of expression of the press was clearly ignored.


Booysen cleared of wrongdoing in shooting