M&G editor apologises for report claiming Maimane took lessons from De Klerk
Johannesburg - Mail & Guardian editor Verashni Pillay has admitted in an editorial that her publication had made an error by rushing into a story alleging that DA leader Mmusi Maimane was taking leadership classes from apartheid-era president FW de Klerk.
"There has been much concern over our January 29 edition’s lead story 'Uproar over Maimane’s lessons with FW', and with good cause," Pillay wrote on Friday.
"The story was rushed and fell short at a number of important points. In addition, although the Democratic Alliance and its leader, Mmusi Maimane, were given an opportunity to respond to the general allegation that Maimane was receiving guidance from former president FW de Klerk, and its response was included, the Mail & Guardian should have taken further steps to verify these allegations before publishing them.
"The front-page summary and newspaper headline overstated the article’s analysis. It also may have misled readers and fell short of the Press Code."
The report alleged that Maimane had visited De Klerk on various occasions to seek leadership advice. This was confirmed by four separate senior party insiders, the paper claimed.