Apology to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for 'Africa vaccine' story

accreditation

On Saturday, 4 April, News24 published a story under the headline "Bill Gates confident a potential coronavirus vaccine will work in Africa, but Twitter does not think so".

The sourcing for the story was a social media post from President Cyril Ramaphosa's Twitter account about support from the philanthropist Bill Gates for South Africa's health needs. Embedded in Ramaphosa's tweet was an excerpt from an interview by The Daily Show host Trevor Noah with Gates, during which Gates details his support of efforts to fight Covid-19.

Nowhere in the interview does Gates mention testing a vaccine in Africa. In his tweet, Ramaphosa stated the businessman will support South Africa with testing kits and research.

The headline was not supported by the substance of the story and News24 removed the article as soon as it was brought to our attention. 

News24 unreservedly apologises to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and our readers for any harm caused by the publication of this false headline. 

We have unpublished and removed the article.

News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson said he will request an investigation by the publication's public editor, Professor George Claassen, to establish where system lapses took place and how to fix them.

"This is a sad ending to a phenomenal week for our great team, who have worked tirelessly to tell the devastating story of Covid-19 to our readers. I am deeply embarrassed by this mistake and apologise to Mr Gates for any harm caused. We will learn from this episode and move forward," Basson said. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can 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. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 516 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 6399 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
11% - 828 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.78
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
20.19
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.51
+0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.55
+0.7%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.4%
Gold
1,703.95
+0.2%
Silver
20.91
+1.0%
Palladium
2,294.50
+3.2%
Platinum
913.00
+0.9%
Brent Crude
88.86
+4.2%
Top 40
57,850
0.0%
All Share
64,227
0.0%
Resource 10
61,646
0.0%
Industrial 25
77,524
0.0%
Financial 15
13,816
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE