On April 5 2019 the Mail & Guardian published an article with the headline “Staff back ‘moonlighting’ manager”. The story concerned the suspension of a senior staffer at the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) by the acting chief executive after it was alleged she had embezzled funds. We reported that the chief executive was then confronted by a group of disgruntled managers, led by Lindinkosi Ndibongo.
Following a complaint to the press ombud, the M&G would like to apologise to Ndibongo, a former MDDA manager, for not allowing him adequate time to respond to our questions. The press ombud also instructed the M&G to afford Ndibongo a further right of reply in respect of certain aspects of our article.
The full version of the press ombud finding can be located at presscouncil.org.za/lindinkosi-ndibongo-vs-mailguardian.
Right of reply
Contrary to what was reported in the Mail & Guardian of April 5 2019, which inferred that I had left my sickbed to attend a meeting to defend a staff member, I came back to work on January 9. In the meeting of February 28 there was no mention of Vuyelwa Mdazana [who resigned as the MDDA’s broadcast manager and acting projects manager after her suspension in February]. In this respect, the article is malicious, misleading, inaccurate, unfair, nonsensical and devoid of the truth. I am also not a leader nor member of any formation within the MDDA.
Regardless of my rank, I stood firm against what I considered to be the abuse of power by new board members who had insufficient historical knowledge about the criteria and grant funding cycle in selecting projects for funding. I condemned what I thought were the bullying and diktats by members of the board, drawing strength from my experience and institutional memory.
Any insinuations that relate to my health and allegiance to anyone are misrepresentations and devoid of the truth. I never defended anyone and was resolute in stopping the persistent bullying by individuals who had no knowledge of the quality assurance process. The bone of contention was about quality assurance and lack of understanding thereof, nothing else.