Cape Times Violates Press Council Ruling, Fails to Publish Zille Apology
The Cape Times newspaper is, as of today, in violation of the Press Council Appeals Panel ruling, handed down in favour of Premier Helen Zille at the end of June.
The Cape Times had run an eight-month long smear campaign against the Premier, claiming she had hired a spy. The Appeals Panel, headed by Judge Bernard Ngoepe, found the Cape Times had violated the press code by using a single anonymous source, with no evidence to back up their malicious claims.
The Panel found further that the provincial Cabinet had, in truth, received a once-off “debugging” service back in 2010, and that this was the “very antithesis of spying”.
Judge Ngoepe’s scathing ruling had ordered the Cape Times to apologise to Premier Zille on its front page, and publish her right of reply in the same edition. They were given 14 days to do this, but today (Monday, 18 July) is the last day to comply, by our calculation, based on working days.
“Having repeatedly violated the Press Code, the Cape Times are now in violation of the Press Appeals panel ruling against them. This is a newspaper that has been misleading their readers for eight months with false and malicious reporting,” said Premier Zille.
Premier Zille said her office would write to the Press Appeals Panel today to inform them of the Cape Times violation, and request that the matter be addressed.
“When the Cape Times lost the Alide Dasnois dismissal case, they ran a story the following day giving the false impression they had won. This latest violation is just another example of their total disrespect for the Press Code, and their own readers,” said Zille.
Premier Zille added that her office was taking legal advice on steps to be taken against the newspaper.