Cape Times ordered to apologise to axed editor

01 August 2016 - 18:13 By TMG Digital

The Cape Times newspaper has been ordered to apologise to its former editor Alide Dasnois after publishing a misleading article about a settlement reached after her dismissal. Dasnois was dismissed in June 2014 after a dispute with Dr Iqbal Survé‚ owner of Independent Newspapers.She challenged the fairness of her dismissal in the Labour Court‚ saying that she had been falsely and publicly labelled as a racist and immoral person who had disrespected former President Nelson Mandela because of her editorial decision to cover his death in a wrap-around tribute by the newspaper.Just before the labour dispute went to trial‚ her former employers‚ Independent Newspapers‚ offered to settle the matter and both parties issued a joint statement. In it‚ they agreed that Dasnois had not intended to disrespect Mandela or his legacy and that her conduct was not motivated by racism.Axed Cape Times editor says settlement a ‘victory for journalists’It took less than five minutes for a settlement to be read out on Monday‚ ending an acrimonious battle that spanned more than two years over the controversial dismissal of former Cape Times newspaper editor Alide Dasnois. The Cape Times‚ and some sister publications‚ had omitted this when reporting about the settlement."Independent vindicated as Dasnois settlement reached‚" was the headline run by The Cape Times on its story about the settlement. "Failed to have Madiba's death on front page‚" read a second headline.Press Ombudsman Johan Retief ruled that the newspaper should "apologise to Dasnois for stating as fact in its headline that Independent Newspapers had been vindicated‚ while that was merely an opinion."The Cape Times‚ Diamond Fields Advertiser and The Star were also directed to apologise to Dasnois for "omitting to state that the agreement entailed that Independent Newspapers withdrew all allegations of racism against Dasnois‚ that she never intended to show disrespect for Mandela‚ and that her editorial independence was not in dispute.The full ruling can be found on the website of the Press Council.The Press OmbudsmanRuling by the Press Ombud 1 August 2016 This ruling is based on the written submissions of Ms Alide Dasnois, former editor of the Cape Times, and those of Mr Stuart Harrison, on behalf of Independent Newspapers.s..

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