Apology to Mgidlana

23 December 2017 - 00:01 By SUNDAY TIMES
Parliament, Cape Town. File photo.
Parliament, Cape Town. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times

The Sunday Times apologises to Gengezi Mgidlana, the secretary of parliament, for
breaches of the Press Code in “New twist in case against Mgidlana” (July 16).

Press ombudsman Johan Retief and two panellists ruled we were wrong to state as fact that missing documents contained evidence to be submitted to parliament as part of its investigation of Mgidlana, and for perpetuating this error in the headline.

Although we had approached parliament’s spokesman in accordance with protocol,
the panel ruled that we should have approached Mgidlana personally too, since
he could have been seen to be the subject of critical reportage. We also described Mgidlana as being suspended, whereas he has been placed on special leave.

The panel dismissed complaints that we implied Mgidlana had been involved in the disappearance of the documents, that we intended to cause him harm, that we should not have used the word “case ” in the headline, that we should not have used his photograph, that we should have stated that the decision to place him on special leave was taken in conjunction with the chairman of the National Council of Provinces, and that parliament ’s head of security had been suspended by his deputy rather than him personally.

Visit presscouncil.org.za for the full finding