Journo resigns over Ramaphosa article

By Drum Digital
18 December 2012

An Independent Newspapers political editor has resigned following a report in The Star that businessman Cyril Ramaphosa had refused a nomination to be ANC deputy president.

"I had no hand in writing the story," Gaye Davis said on Tuesday.

"I did, however, early on Sunday evening, get confirmation from Mr Ramaphosa that -- contrary to what the article was stating -- he had accepted and signed his nomination form," she said in a statement sent to Sapa.

Davis was stepping down to "publicly disassociate" herself from The Star's article.

"Ethically, I believe I cannot publicly distance myself from the story while remaining in the employ of Independent Newspapers."

Davis believed resigning was necessary to protect her credibility as a journalist.

She told the writer of the article that Ramaphosa had confirmed he was still in the running, but was told The Star was standing by their story, but that other editors in the group could make their own judgements.

"I communicated with the other morning newspaper editors in the group, who took appropriate action and did not run the story in its original form," Davis said.

Editor-in-Chief of Independent Newspapers: Cape, Chris Whitfield, said the company was aware of the resignation and trying to understand what had happened.

"It seems there was a communication lapse in this process and the editor of The Star wasn't fully appraised of Gaye's concern about the story. At the moment we are trying to get to the bottom of how that happened," Whitfield said.

He said the company had not wanted Davis to resign and hoped to convince her to change her mind.

Davis had been group deputy political editor since October 2008. She said she contacted Ramaphosa and personally informed him of her decision to resign.

-Sapa

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