A local filmmaker and pro-Palestinian activist has questioned the stance of Peninsula Beverages (Penbev), after the local bottlers of Coca Cola firmly denied sharing political affiliations with Israel. Fahrie Hassan, who produced and directed a 2009 documentary on the multi-national company’s role in support of the Apartheid state, has accused Penbev of propagating many untruths, whilst also conducting “P.R on behalf of Coca Cola”.
Speaking to VOC’s Breakfast Beat, Hassan tackled Penbev’s claims of being an independent bottler, insisting that since they held the exclusive rights to Coca Cola in Cape Town, they were thus making 100% profit from the sales of the popular product.
He said the method of denial being used was similar to Cokes stance in Nazi Germany, where they continued to trade despite worldwide sanctions against the regime.
“They used deceptive methods by changing their drink and its color, calling it Fanta to hoodwink and deceive the rest of the world,” he suggested.
He also claimed that Coca Cola provided massive support to the economy of Apartheid South Africa, by supplying so called independent bottlers such as Peninsula Beverages. This was despite the company putting up a public front in support of the sanctions campaign.
It is reported that during the 1970’s, Saudi Arabia actively called for a total isolation of Israel. Hassan suggested that in response to this call, Coca Cola had instead chosen to maintain their ties with the Apartheid state. Furthermore, he claimed that they continued to hold a vested interest in the region.
Despite Penbev’s insistence that Coca Cola would never invest in any disputed lands, Hassan stated that this was not entirely true.
“The treachery of the UN and Britain in 1948 to steal the land from the Palestinians makes the entire Israel dispute land,” he said.
Responding to the allegations, Penbev communications manager, Denise Green, instead chose to highlight the brands positive contributions to societies across the world.
“I believe that is what Coca Cola is there for. It is to provide a refreshing drink to people, and to support the communities that support Coca Cola,” she said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)