Ombud orders Sunday World to apologise

2011-09-28 23:12

Johannesburg - The press ombudsman has ordered the Sunday World newspaper to apologise to finance company Musa Capital for causing it "unnecessary harm".

"Sunday World is directed to publish a kicker on its front page that includes the word 'apology' or 'apologise' and 'Musa'," Deputy Press Ombudsman Johan Retief said on Wednesday.

"The text should refer to the following text that is to be published on page seven."

The Sunday World story stated that Financial Services Board and forensic experts from accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers acted on a court order and "raided" Musa Capital's head offices.

The raid followed accusations that the company was "ripping off" the Bakubung-ba-Ratheo, a client, to the amount of about R700m.

The story quoted an anonymous source as saying the investigators spent the entire day scrutinising documents in search of the Bakubung tribe's money, adding that Musa Capital's offices "were being torn apart".

Retief reprimanded the Sunday World for breaching Article 1.4 of the Press Code by using a single anonymous source, without verification and without mentioning this in the story.

He found, among other things, that the paper had no justification for reporting that the company had been raided.

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