Ombudsman dismisses Mtimde’s complaint against City Press

2015-04-15 12:52

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The Press Ombudsman has ruled against Lumko Mtimde in his complaint against City Press for “likening” him to former SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala.

City Press reported that Mtimde’s name was withdrawn from the SABC board shortlist at the 11th hour because “like Tshabalala” he had failed to submit proof of his listed qualifications.

Mtimde raised concerns with the City Press just hours after the story was published online and the correction was made immediately.

This was followed by an apology reading: “Mtimde has complained that the initial version of the story likening him to Ellen Tshabalala which created an impression that he doesn’t have the qualifications. City Press didn’t mean to cast aspersions but we apologise for any impression created about his perceived lack of qualifications. This story has been updated since its first publication.”

However, Mtimde said the apology was insufficient and went to seek redress with the ombudsman.

Johan Retief, the ombudsman, commended the newspaper for acting swiftly to address Mtimde’s concerns.

“To my mind, the apology is clear and unambiguous. Based on these considerations, I am satisfied that the newspaper fulfilled Section 2.6 of the Press Code that states: ‘A publication shall make amends for publishing information or comment that is found to be inaccurate by printing, promptly and with appropriate prominence, a retraction, correction or explanation’.”

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