Sunday Times apologises to Kasrils for 'spy tapes' headline

2015-03-29 10:57
Ronnie Kasrils (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Ronnie Kasrils (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The Sunday Times has apologised to Ronnie Kasrils for stating as fact in a headline in September last year that he was the mastermind behind the NPA's manipulation ahead of the ANC conference in Polokwane in 2009.

The apology was placed on the paper's front page above the fold.

"We hereby retract the 'mastermind' statement, and also apologise for failing to include comment from Kasrils in the first edition of the Sunday Times," it said.

The Sunday Times published the article on 7 September with a headline that said: "Spy tapes 'illegal' and expose Kasrils" and a poster written: "Spy tapes expose Kasrils."

Kasrils laid a complaint against the newspaper.

On Tuesday, Press Ombudsman Johan Retief found the Sunday Times headline was in breach of the Press Code which read: "Headlines... shall give a reasonable reflection of the contents of the report... in question."

He ordered the paper to apologise for the headline, retract the statement and publish an apology.

He, however, dismissed Kasrils' efforts to have the apology also published on the paper's street posters, citing economic reasons.

Kasrils launched a cross-appeal which the appeals panel of the Press Council of SA approved.

Delivering its findings, the appeals panel said while it was aware that publishing an apology in posters had not been imposed before, it would not pose a precedent for other cases.

It ordered that the apology by the Sunday Times must include the words: "Spy Tapes" and "apology" or "apologise" as well as "to Kasrils".

The same number of posters as those that carried the words "Spy tapes expose Kasrils" were to be printed and distributed in the same manner as the initial poster.

Read more on:    sunday times  |  ronnie kasrils  |  johannesburg  |  media  |  zuma spy tapes

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