Protector: New Age story regrettable

2011-01-07 22:06

Johannesburg - The Public Protector and the New Age newspaper are at loggerheads over a report relating to the controversial R500m lease for new police headquarters in Pretoria.

"It is regrettable that The New Age would want to stand by their story, which is obviously, in part, factually incorrect," Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said in a statement on Friday.

"Going forward, we will have to find a way to verify facts before they are published as this has a negative effect on our integrity as a constitutional institution."

On Wednesday, the New Age reported that the SA Police Service, the public works department and the National Treasury were not co-operating in her investigation into the deal for the R500m lease.

On Friday, it reported that it stood by its story.

The Sunday Times reported a few months ago that the deal had been signed without a public tender, prompting the Hawks and the Public Protector to investigate.

The Public Protector's draft report had been given to the parties involved for their comment by January 3. However, this deadline had been extended to February.

Madonsela said on Friday at no point during her interview with the New Age did she imply that any state organ had snubbed her deadline.

Madonsela earlier said police had requested an extension for operational reasons.

"It is therefore improper to allege that the SAPS has missed the deadline since the deadline has long been extended."

The New Age was launched in December and is funded by the Gupta Group, which has close links to the ruling ANC.

In his maiden editorial, editor Henry Jeffreys said it was not "The New Agent".

"... Well, here it is. The New Age has no formal links with the ANC (or any other political party, for that matter).

"There is no hotline between my office in Midrand and Luthuli House in Sauer Street," he wrote.

He said it would support the government of the day but its editorial would be critical and would expose bad government, bad business and corruption.

  • jkoorts - 2011-01-07 22:24

    The New Agent is just another bloody agent.

  • themantshepo - 2011-01-07 22:40

    thats funny koorts , best i heard all day hahahaha

  • burtfred - 2011-01-07 22:48

    "He said it would support the government of the day but its editorial would be critical and would expose bad government, bad business and corruption" You're going to be a very busy boy, Henry. You'd better reserve a couple of pages a day for your editorial.

      leerobbertse - 2011-01-07 23:18

      Its going to be the bigest news paper around, any jobs going in your engineering dept?

  • DrG - 2011-01-07 23:09

    "Madonsela said on Friday at no point during her interview with the New Age did she imply that any state organ had snubbed her deadline." This statement is much better than "Dont touch me on my studio"... I just wonder why she calls it her "deadline". The part of the "state organ" we all know by now. They are screwing us with it ... Aren't they?

  • Macho Mike - 2011-01-08 02:12

    Never thought i would see a daily newspaper the thickness of a telephone book. We certainly live in a New Age.

  • Tc - 2011-01-08 06:46

    This story is attempt by the New Age ANC-mouthpiece to decieve and gain some credibility for the ANC newspaper. As Churchill said: "you might be able to bullshit some people some of the time.."

      Keane - 2011-01-08 08:52

      Actually it was Lincoln who said "You can fool some of the people all of the time ..."

      cervezab - 2011-01-08 19:21

      actually it was Schabir Shaik that said "you can bribe some of the people some of the time"

  • Oupa - 2011-01-08 07:26

    I only know that R500m is a lot of money. Surely it would be possible to purchase a suitable building for a lot less. Why is it so easy for government to "blow" such a large sum?

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 07:43

      Because it is so easy to get such a large sum. The ANC is throwing around tax payers' money left, right and centre.

      gilliansan - 2011-01-08 19:22

      Don't critisize the ANC, who are doing so well - (in bed with tax payers money, drinking Johnny Blue..............)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Graham - 2011-01-08 07:59

    PROPAGANDA, they are stirring things up a little to show they are not pro ANC to gain our trust so we believe them, once this happens they will be spilling out the propaganda and the masses will believe the ANC. Sad that the majority of the nation have made stupid by the ANC, and will believe every untrue word.

      Dougalan - 2011-01-08 10:34

      Absolutely correct Graham. The ANC have been bitching for a long time that they don't have a supportive media. Now the New Age has been funded by Gupta who has strong ties with Zuma. Everyone said the New Age would only report favourably on the ANC, so they have now thrown us - the gullible public - this red herring so we'll think 'Wow, it really IS a balanced paper'. But wait for future issues. They WILL support the ANC, just as the SABC has been made to do. Just how stupid does the Govt think we are?

      Freakfloyd - 2011-01-08 17:16

      Could not agree more, Had the same feeling reading this story,

  • Jo - 2011-01-08 12:15

    It appears that the media may end up being the only actual public protector...

      waynet59 - 2011-01-08 19:15

      That is why the government is trying so hard to put a muzzle on the media.

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