CAPE TOWN. – An independent external investigation found that the Pretoria News was “reckless” to publish a story penned by editor Piet Rampedi, which claimed that a Tembisa woman, Gosiame Sithole, had given birth to 10 babies.
The veracity of the story was widely questioned when several elements couldn’t be proven, including where Sithole had given birth.
The father of the children admitted that he had not seen the babies and had relied on Sithole’s account when he posed for cameras as the parent of newly-born decuplets.
The media company instituted several probes into the story regarding how it was handled. It included investigations internally by the editor, the office of Independent Media’s press ombud, Independent Media’s investigation division, and an independent external investigation, chaired by advocate Michael Donen.
Donen’s report said the publication of the story was “reckless” and found that Rampedi had breached Independent Media’s code of ethics. He recommended disciplinary action be taken against Rampedi.
However, Independent Media chairperson Iqbal Survé, who had previously backed his title editor, said Rampedi should be given a pass, despite the serious finding. – Southafricaobserver.com