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Sun Sep 25 10:48:59 CAT 2016

Gupta-owned media issue apology to ANC

Genevieve Quintal | 24 March, 2016 11:17
Atul Gupta at the launch of ANN7 news channel on August 21, 2013, in Johannesburg. File photo.
Image by: James Oatway

The Gupta-owned media, The New Age and ANN7, apologised to the ANC on the front page of the newspaper on Thursday morning.

They accepted there were "some shortcomings" in their coverage of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting last week, although they still stood by their reports.

The two media outlets reported about an alleged plot involving senior ANC members to topple President Jacob Zuma. They named ANC officials and ministers who supported Zuma and referred to those they alleged were plotting against him as rebels.

They "acknowledged that they erred" in not approaching the people they had mentioned in the stories for comment and had depended on hearsay.

The ANC met ANN7 and The New Age representatives on Tuesday night after the NEC condemned the broadcaster and the newspaper for their reporting.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said they agreed to continue talks to "encourage a dynamic and respectful relationship".
Thursday’s apology read: "The editors stressed their editorial independence and maintained that the publication of the story was driven by the veracity of their impeccable sources and not by the influence from the shareholder, the Gupta family."

The editors stood by their story, but offered the ANC space in the newspaper and on air for a rebuttal, they said.

The ANC NEC had instructed officials and the national working committee to gather all information about allegations that the Gupta family was influencing or offering ministerial appointments.

The Guptas had denied this and challenged its accusers to provide proof. They said they would co-operate with the ANC during its review of the matter.

Source: News 24

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