A Journey to the Truth: the case of KwaSizabantu Mission — Gerda Potgieter

Seasoned PR, marketing and publishing practitioner and publisher of Devoted Magazine, Gerda Potgieter previews her newly-released book in which she probes the ethics of press attacks on KwaSizabantu Mission in KwaZulu-Natal

“Want to stop a cult? Then don’t buy aQuellé bottled water”, was one of the blaring headlines released on September 19 2020. Other sensationalised newspaper headlines included: “Mission of Fear”, “I escaped from the Mission of Hell!”, and numerous others.

In this book the author explores whether the headlines were justified or unethical.

News headlines can make or break a business or ruin a reputation. And with social media, this can happen worldwide in seconds. Headlines are there to grab our attention and we trust what we read. But should we? Throughout this book, Gerda Potgieter looks deeper into what was behind the media campaign.

When an independent panel exonerated the mission from all of the accusations in November of the same year, she decided to go on a journey to find the truth. News24 was at the forefront of the media attacks and therefore she focused her investigations on the coverage of this news outlet.

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Looking at journalism, unpacking red flags in news reporting and highlighting the exploitation of journalistic practices that should be avoided in ethical news reporting.

The book include the CRL Commission findings from their report released on Thursday July 13.

Will the mission ever clear its name and restore the damage done to its image? How do you prove
something that did not happen? How do you get the truth through to the wide audience that
believes all they read in newspapers?

Available now on Amazon:
Ebook link — https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CC2V989F
Paperback link– https://www.amazon.com/dp/0639797032
Contact Gerda Potgieter: +27 82 896 0955

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  1. I have not read your book, but only the article, I just have one question did you interview any person who has left KSB to find out what their stories are or did you only interview the people on KSB and take their version.
    Many thanks

  2. Hallo it’s such a pitty you did not grow up their nither did you stay their for a few years. Don’t talk about stuff you hear talk about what you experience. Don’t talk about people that you have not sat and heared their side of the story. People who lived their.

  3. Elfrieda Fleischmann

    This book is extremely well-researched and well-written. The author, a journalist with over 30 years of communication and journalism experience, takes the reader on a journey to the truth about one of the largest mission stations in Africa, KwaSizabantu Mission. The book is full of intrigues and surprises. It is an easy but well-researched read about journalism ethics and its importance in sustaining a democratic society. This book investigates facts and findings and exposes weaknesses in mainstream media reporting, unethical media practices and the harm done to vulnerable communities by providing a platform to unreliable witnesses. Well done!

    • Dear Delia,
      The short answers is: YES. May I respectfully recommend that you read the book FIRST before commenting on it. What I found is that people get half of a story, and then jump to conclusions and share the ‘conclusion’ online with others without verifying facts also. The book is NOT about feelings/experiences but about FACTS, and above all, verified facts. When you read the book, you will find evidence for all statements contrary to what mainstream media wrote. Again, the book is not aboug peopke’s experiences or fantasy or emotional feelings or hearsay or fabricated stories where informants were paid to discredit others – it is about in-depth research over 3 years, looking beyond the drama to hard-core facts ABOUT UNETHICAL JOURNALISM.

  4. Natasha,
    You are making a wild accusation without any merits. May I respectfully recommend that you read the book FIRST. Understand what it is about. Its not ‘talk’ (writing) about feelings and emotions. It is in fact ‘talk’ (writing) about verified and undisputable facts. About UNETHICAL JOURNALISM. What I found with the case is exactly what you and the first commentator are doing : posting comments WITHOUT considering facts – emotional comments. Kindly read the book and THEN engage with me constructively. I would gladly engage with you on a non-emotional level, based on facts .

  5. A well written an well researched book. I followed the News24 Exodus articles and still can’t understand h.
    how they got away with the lies they published since 2020? They have lost all credibility in my eyes. There must be legal action for Kwasizabantu.

  6. This book is the best researched book I have ever read on ethics. Finally the truth about the Kwasizabantu Mission has been revealed. It is however a pity that people make comments about the book without having read the book. It is like the blind leading the blind. Read the book and see for yourself what was behind the stories. But, as the saying goes, there is none as blind as he who does not want to see.

  7. Thank you for taking the time to write this book.
    I don’t need to be convinced that the attacks on KSB is an evil smear campaign, but I am glad that there is someone setting the record straight for the millions of people that have not had the privileged to experience this wonderful work of God and only heard the distorted News24 version.

  8. Thank you Gerda I have read your book, if we take a look at the word truth, it is a difficult word…… what is truth who is speaking the truth… can we believe Mamazane sworn affidavit, or anyone’s version.
    Can you belive me if I say that there are parents connected to KSB that hardly have contact with or hardly ever see their children or visa versa. Yes it is true there is none as blind as he who does not want to see. But fortunately the is one truth we can believe and that is Scripture…