Daily Sun apologises to Malema
Johannesburg - The Daily Sun on Friday became the second newspaper to
apologise to ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema on its front page for
"The fact that it turned out to be wrong is a matter of great regret to
us," said publisher Deon du Plessis, in an apology headlined,
"SunSays: We're sorry!"
"It was an honest mistake. But we take this first opportunity to
apologise to President [Jacob] Zuma, Julius Malema and the ANC Youth League for
any embarrassment that our story may have caused."
On Thursday, the Daily Sun published a story quoting the youth league as
saying Malema was misquoted, but did not offer an apology then.
The Star newspaper apologised on Thursday, saying: "We quoted Malema as
saying: 'Since he got into power, comrade Zuma has been surrounded by bad
"We have been able to verify that Malema... had not referred to
President Jacob Zuma.
"The Star regrets the error and unreservedly apologises to Malema for
whatever embarrassment it caused."
Both The Star and the Daily Sun blamed African Eye News Service (AENS), who
supplied the story, while AENS editor Sharon Hammond blamed the journalist,
Matome Sebelemetja, saying he had initially said he had notes of Malema's comments,
but failed to produce the notes.
Sebelemetja, however, has said his original report did not contain the
contentious quote. Hammond said it was later dictated to sub-editors over the
Sebelemetja told Sapa he was seeking legal advice.
Both the African National Congress and its youth league have harshly
criticised the newspapers, demanding to know what went wrong and repeating
their arguments that the Press Ombudsman could not offer strong enough punitive
measures for such mistakes.
The ruling party has in the past called for a Media Appeals Tribunal for
The Star said on Thursday that the ANC "must feel free to lodge a
complaint with the Press Ombudsman, with whom we would co-operate".
"As to what really happened, and how the misquote in the report came
about, we ourselves would like to know," The Star said.
If the report were to be true, it could have landed Malema into serious
trouble with the ruling party.
Last May, Malema had to make a public apology to Zuma after criticising him
An ANC disciplinary committee warned him that, should he be found guilty of
contravening rule 25.5 (i) of the ANC constitution within the next two years,
his membership would be summarily suspended.