Allison Thomson's letter:
The Board of Directors 28 January 2013
Re: Social Media commentary on alleged findings in SANParks staff quarters.
I was made aware of certain allegations concerning the above that had been posted on a public website called AFRICA WILD a copy of the screen dump is attached herewith for ease of reference.
I re-posted the information that was given to me onto my social media page known as OSCAP some 12 hours after it was already in the public domain.
Upon careful reflection and in the light of the understandably deep concerns that the above has caused, I am of the considered opinion that I should not have simply accepted the assurances I was given about the validity of the source and its contents.
I am not in a position to personally confirm any of the allegations as they appear and as such I hereby tender my apology both personally and on behalf of OSCAP, to the Board of SANParks and its employees and hereby retract the post from the group.
I regret the consternation and anguish so caused and wish to reassure the Board of SANParks as to OSCAP’s support for all your efforts to protect our rhino and wildlife heritage.
Date: Tuesday, 29 January 2013
For immediate ReleaseSANParks WELCOMES THE APOLOGY AND RETRACTION BY OSCAP
South African National Parks (SANParks) has received and welcomed a letter of apology from Allison Thompson of Outraged South African Citizens Against Poaching (OSCAP) regarding unproven allegations levelled against SANParks and its employees in the OSCAP Facebook Page on the 26 January 2013.
In accepting the apology from OSCAP the SANParks Head of Communications, wanda mkutshulwa, said “We unreservedly accept and welcome the apology by Ms Thompson and OSCAP. We also appreciate the positive gesture this letter of apology contains as this will go a long way in encouraging South Africans to work towards jointly coming up with solutions to protect our rhinos”.
Ms mkutshulwa further said that it is important that the public understands that SANParks would not like to stifle debate on difficult issues facing the organisation, however, a little moderation and checking of facts is required at all times before public statements are made.
SANParks further requests members of the public to please report all information of wrong doing to the correct authorities so that appropriate action can be taken to stop these criminals from further exploiting our national heritage.
SANParks is also announcing a new page that will be created in its website by the 30 January 2013 which will be called „Scam Watch‟. “The purpose of this website page is to alert the public on possible scams, related to rhinos and other areas, that are doing the rounds in a bid to extort money from members of the public and to possibly harm them. This will not be an interactive page like our website forum but will be a place where people can read on the latest scams as well as send information to SANParks on any other new scams that might have been created by these criminals”, said mkutshulwa.
“We urge everyone to use the Crimestop, Crimeline and our investigator‟s numbers posted on this website page to report wrong doing and to help us apprehend criminals before they do damage to our parks and our heritage”.Issued by: SANParks Corporate Communications
For media enquiries:
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli – SANParks, General Manager: Media, PR & Stakeholder Relations; Tel: (012)4265203, Mobile: (073)3734999 / (072)39051564 or e-mail: email@example.com
wanda mkutshulwa – SANParks, Head of Communications ; Tel: (012)4265170, Mobile (082)9082692 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org