Advocacy group demands Sunday World fire reporter over story containing alleged GBV victim's details

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Wise4Africa protesting outside Sunday World's offices.
Wise4Africa protesting outside Sunday World's offices.
Twitter/OaugeMashinini
  • Organisation, Wise 4 Afrika has marched to Sunday World offices demanding a retraction of an article containing personal and confidential information regarding an alleged victim of sexual assault.
  • The organisation is further calling for the dismissal of journalist Ngwako Malatji.
  • A statement from the publication is expected on Sunday.

Advocacy organisation Wise 4 Afrika marched to the Sunday World offices on Thursday demanding the publication retract an article containing the personal and confidential information of a woman who had accused popular deejays Fresh and Euphonik of sexual assault.

The organisation further demanded the journalist who wrote the article be fired.

The article led with a headline based off a WhatsApp screenshot posted on social media that was yet to be verified.

READ | DJ Fresh, Euphonik won't be prosecuted for alleged sexual assault

The WhatsApp screenshot which was posted by Euphonik - real name Themba Nkosi - had since been deleted. 

The article - which was published three days ago - also included information from a police statement with respect to the sexual assault case opened at the Sunnyside police station.

"The Sunday World and [Ngwako] Malatji published the article without first verifying the authenticity and the accuracy of the WhatsApp message," the memorandum by Wise4Afrika - dated 4 March 2021 - said.

Wise4Afrika said the leaking of a statement given to a member of the police without the victim's consent and/or knowledge, was detrimental to the safety of victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and was also an infringement of their rights to privacy, confidentiality and the right of protection under the law.

"By publishing this information, the Sunday World and Malatji failed to exercise care and consideration involving the private lives and concerns of the victim and for her dignity, safety and reputation.

"This goes against the Code of Ethics that requires that news should be obtained legally, honestly and fairly, unless public interest dictates otherwise," the memorandum said.

As a result, Wise4Afrika made the following demands:
  • A public retraction making amends for publishing the article, by Sunday, 7 March 2021.
  • The dismissal of Malatji as a journalist for "his callous misconduct on this matter".
  • Convene a meeting to engage on the paper's approach to reporting on GBV, in particular.

Sunday World Editor, Wally Mbhele, told News24 that the publication had taken note of the demands and always welcomed constructive criticism.

"We have taken note of the demands in the memorandum, we appreciate the concerns raised with us. We all always welcome constructive criticism, that is meant to help us as journalists to do things better in future, but in terms of other things i.e the [press] ombudsman, I have to give that process a fair chance to unfold," Mbhele told News24 on Thursday.

He added that he was "unhappy about the tone of the article" and the publication would make a statement on Sunday.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Would you choose to continue working from home after the coronavirus lockdown if given the option?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's much better for me
40% - 7886 votes
No ways! I can't wait to get back to the office
12% - 2295 votes
A mixture of both would suit me best
48% - 9563 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.21
(-0.1)
GBP/ZAR
19.53
(+0.1)
EUR/ZAR
17.01
(+0.3)
AUD/ZAR
11.00
(+0.2)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(+0.2)
Gold
1,763.19
(-0.0)
Silver
25.87
(+0.1)
Platinum
1,202.40
(+0.5)
Brent Crude
66.94
(+0.5)
Palladium
2,750.50
(+0.2)
All Share
68,145
(+0.5)
Top 40
62,355
(+0.4)
Financial 15
12,382
(+0.3)
Industrial 25
88,829
(+0.2)
Resource 10
69,373
(+0.8)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo