Botschaft, Topnews, Presse, Pressespiegel
07. Juli 2010
Statement on Sowetan Article
Berlin, 7.7.2010. The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa deeply regrets the misguided and misjudged statement made by a journalist of an independent newspaper in South Africa by comparing a German national soccer player with Adolf Hitler. As much as we have the freedom of the press as one of the main principles in our Constitution it is even more important to show respect for human dignity.
We, as the Mission in Germany, treasure our partnership with the German government and its people to the utmost and thus condemn the comparison that was made. We have been enchanted by the wonderful game the German soccer players have shown the world in South Africa and are looking forward to the next game.
We herewith attach an Office translation of the Welt Online article of 8 July 2010, in which Journalist Kgomotso Mokoena apologizes to Schweinsteiger. To read the original in German, please go to: www.welt.de/sport/wm2010/article8360142/Journalist-entschuldigt-sich-bei-Schweinsteiger.html
Journalist apologizes to Schweinsteiger
Journalist Kgomotso Mokoena has spoken to WELT ONLINE and apologized for making the comparison between Bastian Schweinsteiger and Adolf Hitler. By Christian Putsch.
Kgomotso Mokoena got a fright on Wednesday when he went to the media center in Durban and read the internet news and the reactions that his article caused in Germany. In the newspaper “Sowetan”, named after the big township south of Johannesburg, the journalist had compared the German national soccer player Bastian Schweinsteiger with Adolf Hitler in his column “Let´s go 2010”. “A new `Fuehrer` with the work ethic of Stefan Effenberg and the intimidating aura of Adolf Hitler has taken over” is what he wrote in his commentary about the German national team before the semi-final against Spain.
To top it all off he called the German team of the DFB “young toy soldiers”. “This was only meant as a play on words to emphasis the presence of Bastian Schweinsteiger on the pitch”, says Mokoena when speaking to WELT ONLINE. “I really did not mean to insult Bastian Schweinsteiger – this was not my intention and if I did so then I apologize.” He did not want to cause any irritations with his article.
“I was at the World Cup 2006 in Germany and only a few weeks ago with the South African national team again. I really like the country and had a great time”, says Mokoena. He might have “exaggerated with his choice of words”. In fact the rest of the text is written with military terms: Bastian Schweinsteigers rise has left injured Captain Michael Ballack “kicking his heels in the stands”. To “hunt” the Spaniards is as if you want “to capture Osama bin Laden”. Germany has “blitzed” Argentina from the pitch.
The DFB did not want to comment on the text before the semi-final. “Our full concentration is on the semi-final against Spain. All other issues do not interest us”, said media director Harald Stenger.
The Sowetan was founded in 1981 by the ANC and given out for free in the township. This is why this newspaper which costs now 3,90 Rand (about 40 cents) with an edition of 150.000 in the province of Gauteng has a high esteem. A big part of its readers come from Soweto.