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Apology to Secretary of Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana and...

South Africa

Press Ombudsman Ruling

Apology to Secretary of Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana and to Parliament

Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, 6 February 2019. Photo: Leila Dougan/Daily Maverick

Two separate complaints were lodged with the Press Ombudsman - one by Gengezi Mgidlana, the suspended Secretary to Parliament, and another by Moloto Mothapo, Spokesperson to Parliament.

Both complaints relate to the publication in December 2018 of an article by Moira Levy entitled, Gengezi Mgidlana, suspended Secretary to Parliament, objects to being called ‘corrupt’. The article had first appeared in Notes From The House.

Daily Maverick and Notes from the House apologise:

to Mgidlana

for untruthfully / inaccurately / unfairly:

  • stating as fact the following allegations: “Gengezi Mgidlana is the man who, among other dodgy practices, spent R4-million of taxpayers’ money in two-and-a-half years for travel for his wife and himself, awarded himself an ex-gratia payment of more than R71,000 that he was not entitled to, gave himself a R30,503 study bursary just months into the job while denying bursaries to most other staff, and various other dodgy behaviours such as the illegal use of blue light security cars, including to get his kids to school”;

  • labelling him as “disgraced” and calling his actions “dodgy”; reporting that “…clearly somewhere, somehow, there is corruption afoot …”;

  • not giving them a right of reply prior to publication; and

  • not exercising the necessary care and consideration regarding his dignity and reputation.

And to Parliament for:

  • falsely stating that it had paid out bonuses to Mgidlana and other senior management;

  • falsely stating that it had not offered an explanation for the alleged paying out of these monies;

  • not reporting its denials to this effect; and

  • not having contacted its spokesperson for comment.

Visit www.presscouncil.org.za for the full findings.

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