Quotation and misquotation

I was quoted on a site called sify.com saying this: “The World Cup made us crazy. Money was spent carefully. I think the government will have a tough time in maintaining the stadiums. They will soon turn into white elephants,” said Anton Harber, professor at the University of Witwatersrand. I did not know when and where I might have said such babble, nor did I remember ever speaking to a reporter named Abishek Roy.

I emailed Abishek and he told me he took the quote from a site called minnpost.com, where I found this: “I think everyone knows that the money we spent on stadiums was crazy,” said Anton Harber, a prominent South African journalist and professor at the University of Witwatersrand. “But it did teach us that we can build big, beautiful things.”

It is only slightly less odd, but something I can admit to probably saying (as part of a longer conversation). But Mr Roy found no need to explain how the one quote morphed into the other. He answered my objection by saying, “To be frank after reading the article I thought you were the best person to be quoted on this issue.”

He obviously didn’t think that I was the best person to be quoted on this accurately.

Anyway, he has apologised, I have asked for it to be corrected, and when it is, I can bury the issue – and hope it does not come back via the internet to haunt me (as these things usually do).

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