Corrections And Clarifications: 2017

January 15

Former spy boss says reasons for not paying apartheid-era loans was a ruse

This article has been altered for grammar and clarifications.

July 28

M&G apologises to Siân Dennis and Litha-Lethu Management Solutions

On June 2 this year, the Mail & Guardian published an article, headlined “Architects take on bully council”, about a series of allegations levelled by a group of architects, known as A4C, against the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (Sacap).

One of the allegations – made in a letter written to Parliament – was that the council’s registrar had appointed a close corporation, Litha-Lethu Management Solutions, to undertake a benchmarking exercise without following proper supply-chain management procedures and that the registrar was friends with the corporation’s member Siân Dennis.

However, the M&G did not seek comment from Dennis or Litha-Lethu Management Solutions on this allegation. On June 9, the M&G ran a full right-of-reply response from Sacap, which asserted that the registrar and Dennis had only became acquainted after the tender was awarded. Dennis has also subsequently responded that their relationship is purely a professional one.

The article also incorrectly referred to a “final report” of the council, which made no mention of the need for salary adjustments. However, the document seen by the M&G was not a final report.

The M&G apologises unreservedly to both Dennis and Litha-Lethu Management Solutions.

October 3

M&G apologises to Andre van der Zee and 4AX

Gupta firms sail close to the wind

On September 29, the Mail & Guardian published an article Gupta firms sail close to the wind which described Andre van der Zee as “the driving force behind 4 Africa Exchange”. That was incorrect and has been amended to reflect that he was involved in, rather than central to, the creation of 4AX.

The Mail & Guardian regrets the error.

Just how involved Van der Zee was remains unclear, however.

In response to the incorrect article, 4AX CEO Fay Mukaddam said Van der Zee “was never the driving force behind 4AX and has no involvement or connection to 4AX after having been removed as a non-executive director of earlier this year as at 1 March 2017.”

Mukaddam could not explain why company records suggest Van der Zee’s resignation as a 4AX director had only been filed nearly five months later. She would not comment on Van der Zee’s claim to have been a 4AX founding director, other than to say this was not the case.

Asked if 4AX had announced Van der Zee’s removal at the time, Mukaddam pointed to an announcement of the appointment of new non-executive directors, an announcement that did not mention Van der Zee.

After the Mail & Guardian pointed out that a 4AX website still listed Van der Zee as a non-executive director, that website was hastily updated. Mukaddam subsequently said that website had never been intended to be public.

Van der Zee again could not be reached for comment. But on Terbium issued a statement saying it had severed all ties with Gupta family vehicle Oakbay, and will otherwise "not be commenting further on this issue unless legally required to do so".

M&G Apology: Prasa did not sign R57bn deal

In the September 15-21 and September 22-28 editions of the Mail & Guardian, "Boardless Prasa inks R57bn deal" and "Airport idle, jumbos take the highway", we reported that Prasa had signed a R57-billion deal with a Chinese bank to develop the Moloto Corridor. We have now confirmed that neither Prasa nor the Department of Transport, who are the lead on the Moloto Corridor project, signed such a deal. In our reporting we erred in that we placed an over-reliance on information gleaned from other publications. We apologise unreservedly for the error. The articles have now been removed.

November 15 

M&G apologises to Mckinsey

In the article McKinsey again denies it did 'anything illegal’ in Eskom, Trillian saga, a correction was made to the original introduction, which read "Global Consulting firm McKinsey is willing to return more than the R1.5-billion it received from Eskom". This amount accounted for the R1-billion and over R500-million that McKinsey and Trillian received from Eskom respectfully. It must be noted that Trillian will only be paying Eskom R1-billion. A paragraph was also removed where it the author mistakenly attributed a Transnet deal to McKinsey. The issue came up as a side question during the parliamentary inquiry and the author would like to confirm that McKinsey was not involved in the purchase of 300 locomotives from a China South Rail, rather, it was Tesqueta, which is another story completely.