OPINION

Guptas & Jonas: Sunday Times article gossip masquerading as news - ANC

Party says it will be approaching Press Ombudsman over the paper's poor and shoddy journalism

SUNDAY TIMES ARTICLE NOTHING BUT GOSSIP MASQUERADING AS NEWS

The African National Congress has noted the gossip mongering being masqueraded as news on the front page of the SundayTimes newspaper today, 13 March 2016. The article, titled "How Gupta shopped for Finance Minister" is in direct contravention of the Press Code which enjoins the media "to report news truthfully, accurately and fairly." The Code further cautions the media to "avoid the use of anonymous sources unless there is no other way to deal with a story" and "care should be taken to corroborate the information"

In the paper's overzealousness to portray the leadership of the ANC in general, and the Deputy Secretary General in particular, as collaborators to fit the fictitious narrative of a Gupta-controlled country, the Sunday Times ignores these basic principles of the Press Code and presents as fact allegations, suppositions and rumours.

No care is taken to corroborate the story and scant regard is given to the fact that all those being implicated by the Sunday Times in the story have roundly rejected the allegations. The Sunday Times stays true to the adage that one cannot let the truth stand in the way of a good story; as false as it may be.

The African National Congress will be approaching the Press Ombudsman to seek relief against the poor and shoddy journalism of the Sunday Times, where clearly there is no commitment to high standards in journalistic ethics and practice. The Deputy Secretary General of the ANC will further seek legal advice on her options with regards to the lies being peddled about her by the paper.

Statement issued by Zizi Kodwa, ANC national spokesperson, 13 March 2016