New Age cleared of wrongdoing in Malema London stories – mostly

"The newspaper, indeed, merely fulfilled its duty to inform the public of these allegations," deputy press ombudsman Johan Retief said in a statement on Monday.

He found that one of the six stories on expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's trip to London for the Olympic Games – written by journalist Warren Mabona – did not meet the requirements of the Press Code.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula complained that the stories asked, despite his public denials, whether he had used state funds to pay for Malema's visit.

He said this questioned his integrity and falsely created the impression that he was a corrupt and unethical office-bearer.

Mbalula claimed that while some stories mentioned his denial, "the content still raised suspicion as to my honesty in this regard".

He said the stories demonstrated bias.

Five out of six cleared
The newspaper argued that it had been entitled to publish the stories as public funds might have been misused and Mbalula served in high public office.

The New Age submitted that the claims against Mbalula were reported as allegations and not as fact.

Retief said he was satisfied that none of the allegations were stated as fact, and that Mbalula's denials were published when and where necessary.

Retief dismissed the complaints against five of the stories.

He found that a sixth story, headlined "Lies, lies and more lies" did not meet the requirements of the Press Code.

"This story said that Mbalula's spokesperson continued to evade questions, and yet it also stated that "a web of lies continued to flow from the department's spin doctor when pressed on the matter," Retief said.

"Firstly, it is difficult to understand how a journalist can come to the conclusion that there was 'a web of lies' when the response from the department was not forthcoming. How does one not tell the truth when one does not say anything?"

The New Age was directed to apologise to Mbalula for this. – Sapa

Advertisting

Stranded commuters say Ramaphosa’s rail promises ring hollow

Cape Town’s largest passenger rail line has been closed for months, hitting people’s pockets and adding to road traffic congestion

EFF ‘circus’ becomes contagion as MPs heckle Malema

ANC MPs test the EFF’s disruptive tactics on the leader of the Red Berets in Sona reply

Ramaphosa ‘neutral’ in Mkhwebane, Parliament impeachment row

However, the president says even if he has a conflict of interest, another Cabinet member could suspend the public protector

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy
Advertising

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it