Corrections and clarifications: 2011

December 15
The version of the story Commentariat: Rent-a-quote or valuable insight? that appeared in the print edition of the Mail & Guardian on December 15 incorrectly stated that Aubrey Matshiqi is a senior political associate at the Centre for Policy Studies. He is in fact a research fellow at the Helen Suzman Foundation. This has been corrected in the online version.

December 6
In the article Crunch time at COP17 as high-level negotiations begin, it was incorrectly stated that India and China were not signatories to the Kyoto Protocol. This has now been corrected, and now says: “As developing countries, China and India … are not required to make emissions cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.”

December 02
A previous version of A lesson in sexual tolerance stated that the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation had produced the booklet titled Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Rights in Education with Gala’s participation. It was actually produced in collaboration with Gala. The article has been amended.


November 29
The articles Nationalisation ‘is the last resort’, which appeared in the newspaper, and ANC sends back nationalisation report for changes, which appeared online, were both amended on November 29 2011 to reflect changes in the report.

November 28

  • A previous version of the article “Six die in KZN floods as COP17 begins” said eight people died in floods in KwaZulu-Natal. This was an incorrect tally as six people died. This has been corrected.

    November 18
    A previous version of Education’s political nettles incorrectly spelled the www.npconline.co.za address. This has been rectified.

    November 15

    • A previous version of the article “Trevor Manuel punts national development plan” contained errors in the itemised list of challenges facing South Africa. These have now been corrected.

      November 14
      The previous version of this article
      Poor healthcare for migrants ‘threatens public safety’
      had inaccuracies, including the use of the word “refugee” and citing the African Centre for Migration and Society as a signatory on the letter submitted to department of home affairs and the national department of health. These inconsistencies have been corrected. We apologise for the errors.

      November 11
      The print version of the article Personality trumps policy in Zambia’s election battles incorrectly stated that this was the first time Hichilema was running, instead of the third. We apologise for the error.


      November 11
      The print version of the article “Arms deal inherited corrupt DNA“, which appeared in the November 11 edition of the Mail & Guardian, did not did not contain the footnote naming the authors and publisher. This has been corrected in the online version.

      November 9
      This article originally had an incorrect headline when it was published at 9pm on November 8: “Fickle Mbalula rages over New Age spy lie.” We corrected the headline to read: “Fickle Mbalula rages over New Age spy allegation” on November 9 at 6pm. We apologise for the error.

      October 28
      In the article “Burn after wearing“, two sentences were not attributed to the original source material, a Mahala magazine article titled “Burn swag burn” by Lindokuhle Nkosi. We apologise to the writer and the editors of the publication for our serious omission.

      October 28
      A Mail & Guardian story “An ace deal for premier’s associate” about Free State Premier Ace Magashule’s involvement in the awarding of a multimillion-rand provincial government lease stated: “The M&G has a copy of a contract signed by Magashule in July last year that approved granting a provincial government lease to Sambal Investments to accommodate the Free State sport, arts, culture and recreation department in the Business Partners Building in central Bloemfontein.”

      This may have led readers to believe incorrectly that Magashule signed the lease.

      Magashule, through his spokesperson Wisani Ngobeni, objected to the article, saying he had not signed the lease, and had delegated the authority to do so.

      The sequence of events, as far as the M&G has established, was as follows. A letter was addressed to Magashule from the provincial public works department with the subject: “Approval: contract for Business Partners Building — Bloemfontein.”

      It notes: “Attached is a contract for renting the Business Partners Building from Sambal Investment (Pty) Ltd, owned by Mr [Mohlouoa “Blacky”] Seoe,” and states: “The contract documents were prepared by the legal advisers of the department of the premier and are accepted by the department [of public works] and the landlord.” It concludes: “It is recommended that the premier approve and sign the attached contract for the Business Partners Building.”

      Two recommendations are signed off: on July 22 2010 by the acting head of department and on July 26 by the MEC.

      On July 28 2010 a signature marking the recommendation as “approved” is appended pp (per procurationem) under Magashule’s name. Our law holds that where an agent discloses he is acting per procurationem, he means: “I am an agent, not acting on any authority of my own in the case, but authorised by my principal to enter into this contract.”

      The principal in this case is clearly Magashule. The lease contract attached was also in his name, stating that it had been entered into with “the Free State provincial government represented by Mr ES Magashule in his capacity as premier”.

      It appears to have been signed on July 28 2010 by the same person who signed for Magashule in giving approval for the contract to be entered into. The commencement date for the contract was May 1 2010. The department of sports, arts, culture and recreation had occupied the building.

      The identity of the person signing on the premier’s behalf is not disclosed, but it was apparently Thabo Manyoni, the MEC for police, roads and transport. On the same day, July 28 2010, Magashule signed a delegation of powers to Manyoni to “consider and take a decision on the rental agreement for the Business Partners Building”.

      Manyoni is Magashule’s ally. He chairs the Ace Magashule Foundation and shared a directorship with Magashule in a company, Stas Civil Contractors, now deregistered. He also shared directorships in seven companies — since deregistered — with Magashule’s former personal assistant, Deena Pillay, now the treasurer of the Ace Magashule Foundation. That Manyoni signed the approval document “pp Magashule” suggests he saw himself as the latter’s agent. Magashule was a director of Sambal Investments in 2008. His son is a director in another of Seoe’s companies.

      October 28
      An article headlined “Botswana open to base” reported that Botswana government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay had refused to answer Mail & Guardian inquiries about a United States diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks about talks between the US and Botswana governments on a possible Africom base in Botswana. It should have said that Ramsay’s general policy is not to comment on Wikileaks material. We apologise for the error.


      October 21
      An article in last week’s Mail & Guardian, “Shabangu banked on connections“, referred to a 2007 forensic investigation that “alleged fraud” on the part of former Land Bank chief executive Alan Mukoki.

      Mukoki has since highlighted that he denied the substance of this allegation in the investigators’ report.

      The 200-page report by auditing firm Deloitte is part of a body of evidence being investigated by the Hawks.

      Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela confirmed this week that Mukoki had been investigated for fraud and that a case docket had been handed to state prosecutors. He confirmed this dealt specifically with Mukoki, but he would not detail the charges.

      Mukoki said: “I can’t comment on that because I don’t know about it.”

      Deloitte had been appointed to investigate the “commencement, management and administration” of the Land Bank’s Land for Development Finance Unit, following a Cabinet decision to investigate financial management at the bank.

      The investigators reported various irregularities and ultimately argued that Mukoki “may have committed fraud”, recommending that criminal charges be laid against him.

      Justifying their allegation, Deloitte’s investigators argued that Mukoki had been aware of three legal opinions, solicited by his staff, which found that the bank could not approve the unit’s loans as they were outside its legal mandate.

      But Mukoki disputed the manner in which bank officials solicited the legal opinions.

      “The so-called three legal opinions suggesting that [the unit’s] loans fell outside of the Land Bank mandate were themselves fraudulently obtained. [They] were never part of the Land Bank mandated record,” he said.

      October 14
      An article in last week’s Mail & Guardian, “Shabangu banked on connections“, referred to a 2007 forensic investigation that “alleged fraud” on the part of former Land Bank chief executive Alan Mukoki.

      Mukoki has since highlighted that he denied the substance of this allegation in the investigators’ report.

      The 200-page report by auditing firm Deloitte is part of a body of evidence being investigated by the Hawks.

      Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela confirmed this week that Mukoki had been investigated for fraud and that a case docket had been handed to state prosecutors. He confirmed this dealt specifically with Mukoki, but he would not detail the charges.

      Mukoki said: “I can’t comment on that because I don’t know about it.”

      Deloitte had been appointed to investigate the “commencement, management and administration” of the Land Bank’s Land for Development Finance Unit, following a Cabinet decision to investigate financial management at the bank.

      The investigators reported various irregularities and ultimately argued that Mukoki “may have committed fraud”, recommending that criminal charges be laid against him.

      Justifying their allegation, Deloitte’s investigators argued that Mukoki had been aware of three legal opinions, solicited by his staff, which found that the bank could not approve the unit’s loans as they were outside its legal mandate.

      But Mukoki disputed the manner in which bank officials solicited the legal opinions.

      “The so-called three legal opinions suggesting that [the unit’s] loans fell outside of the Land Bank mandate were themselves fraudulently obtained. [They] were never part of the Land Bank mandated record,” he said.

      October 21
      In the print version of “Cycling SA management heading for a pile-up“, it was reported that the Lemmer brothers both believed the Tour of South Africa cycling event was not going to be held due to a lack of funds, whereas it was only Carinus who opined this. Additionally, it was reported that Hendrik Lemmer had accused Cycling South Africa’s board of “looting” the organisation’s coffers, when in fact he’d accused the board of financial mismanagement. We regret the errors incurred in this article and apologise to the parties concerned.

      October 10
      An earlier version of “New press code to ‘root out irresponsible journalism’” stated that Deputy Ombud Johan Retief said the changes to the code were “influenced” by the ANC’s calls for a tribunal. This is incorrect. He, in fact, said the Councils review was a normal process that the Council undertakes every five years. He added that the ANCs call for a media appeals tribunal (MAT) served to intensify this review, saying: “The ANCs MAT influenced us to do our work properly and with care.” The Mail & Guardian regrets the error.

      October 10
      A previous version of Lifting the veil on migrants and myths incorrectly spelled Mary Tal’s surname as Tai. It also inadvertently left out one of the researchers, Carol Anne Spreen. This has been rectified. We apologise for the error.

      September 21
      In a previous version of State to cap municipal manager salaries, we incorrectly attributed the first comment by the DA’s spokesperson on cooperative governance and traditional affairs, James Lorimer, on who decided to award bonuses, to Wits politics Professor Anthony Butler. The Mail & Guardian regrets the error.

      September 16
      An earlier version of Zuma’s arms deal bombshell reported the arms deal amounted to R60-million. This is, in fact, R60-billion.

      September 2
      In a previous version of Nicholas van Hoogstraten: Zimbabwe’s Mr Big, Siphiwe Nyanda was referred to as former minister of defence. This is incorrect as he is former chief of the South African Defence Force.

      August 27
      An article in last week’s Mail & Guardian, “How to Weed Out Rotten Fruit“, wrongly reported that Human Rights Watch (HRW) had recommended that retailers and consumers boycott Western Cape farms that violated labour laws. Daniel Bekele, HRW’s Africa director, said: “The answer is not to boycott South African products, because that could be disastrous for farmworkers. We are asking retailers to press their suppliers to ensure decent conditions on the farms that produce the products they buy and sell.” The article also quoted HRW as urging the government to include “farmers” in government housing plans. This should have read “farmworkers and farm dwellers”. We apologise for the errors.

      August 26
      A previous version of Mogoeng’s assault on women’s rights, named the convicted rapists. The names have been removed to prevent indirect identification of the victims.

      July 22
      In “Poachers and prostitutes“, the M&G reported that a statement by a Thai Airways manager led to the arrest of members of a rhino-poaching syndicate. The person was not a manager at Thai Airways, but did receive information from employees at the airline.

      August 21
      An earlier version of the Malema probed for fraud in tender saga story claimed the youth league leader had been charged with fraud. He is merely under investigation. The M&G regrets the error.

      August 5
      In the article “How Julius Malema pulls tender strings” (August 5), it was incorrectly stated that lawyer Mpoyana Ledwaba administers Julius Malema’s family trust. In fact, Ledwaba performs certain legal services for the trust. Any inconvenience is regretted.

      July 29
      In an article published in the Mail & Guardian on July 29 (Nkomati: State-owned mine shuts amid controversy) African Eye News Service (AENS) incorrectly reported that Shanduka owns Sentula. This is incorrect as the proposed transaction between Shanduka and Sentula did not happen as announced at the end of June this year. AENS regrets the error.

      June 23
      The original version of a report titled “Sacci slams bunking teachers” on June 22, received from the South African Press Association, did not make clear that an allegation of bunking teachers — to which Sacci was responding — was made by Democratic Alliance education spokesperson for Gauteng Khume Ramulifho in an earlier statement. This has been rectified.

      June 21
      On Monday, Sapa reported that the press ombudsman had ordered the Sowetan to publish a front page apology for running a story that sought to damage the credibility of Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

      The report also quoted deputy press ombudsman Johan Retief and gave the reader the impression that the information in the news item came from the office of the ombudsman.

      In fact, the information was contained in a statement issued by the Inkatha Freedom Party and not from the press ombudsman.

      June 6
      In the original version of the article “Juju’s cousin lands multimillion-rand govt deals”, it was stated that Tshepo Malema is Julius Malema’s younger brother. He is, in fact, Julius Malema’s cousin.

      April 12
      In the article Editors welcome McBride ruling, the South African Press Association reported that Sanef had welcomed the “unanimous” Constitutional Court ruling upholding the Citizen newspaper’s appeal in a defamation case by former Ekurhuleni metro police chief, Robert McBride.

      However, the judgment was not “unanimous” and the Constitutional Court justices were split 5-3 on the matter.

    • April 1
      In the Mail & Guardian Health Section of March 11 the article: “Train your neurons to ease the pain” was incorrectly attributed to Michael Sullivan. The correct author was Mandi Smallhorne. We apologise for any confusion caused.

      April 1
      In the article Krejcir link in huge coke bust we reported that former acting national police commissioner Tim Williams appointed Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli as head of crime intelligence. This is wrong. In fact Williams declined to sit on the panel that selected Mdluli. The panel was chaired by current Minister of Police Nathi Mthewtha and Cabinet made the final appointment in July 2009. We regret the error.

      March 4
      In last week’s M&G print edition, Ajay Gupta was incorrectly identified as Tony Gupta in the caption that accompanied the lead story, “Steel of a deal for Zuma Jnr” on Page 2 of the newspaper. We apologise for any confusion this may have caused and regret the error.

      February 25
      In our analysis of President Jacob Zuma’s response to the parliamentary debate (“Better this Year“)in his State of the Nation address, we reported that he had not deigned to respond to a complaint by Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi about alleged ANC interference in that party’s affairs. In fact, Zuma’s written speech made no mention of the issue, he departed from his prepared text to say: “I would disagree that the ANC is responsible for the problems of the IFP.” He said that he would not discuss the allegations in the National Assembly, but would be prepared to meet Buthelezi. We regret the error.

      February 11
      The article titled “Black Hole over Sishen” (Mail & Guardian, February 4, 2011) incorrectly reported that Atul Gupta and Duduzane Zuma are shareholders in Imperial Crown Trading. Their shareholding is in Ayigobi, which has concluded a BEE deal with ArcelorMittal. The error is regretted.

      January 21
      We reported (“Minister faces contempt charge“) that Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson would have to explain to the Cape High Court why she should not be charged with contempt for ignoring an order it had issued compelling the Fisheries department to grant three abalone permits to Scott Russell.

      In the same article we quoted Joemat-Pettersson’s spokesperson Selby Bokaba as saying that the permits had now been issued, following an out-of-court settlement with Russell.

      This may have caused some confusion. The story ought to have said that Joemat- Pettersson had narrowly avoided potential contempt of court action by issuing the permits, and agreeing to pay Russell’s legal costs three days after the deadline set by the original judgement.

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