The Press Council of South Africa (PCSA) has accused communication minister Dina Pule’s spin doctor of reaching “illogical conclusions” and of not using the complaints system in the proper manner.
HumanIPO reported yesterday the PCSA had turned down the Department of Communications’ request to investigate the conduct of the Sunday Times after the paper ran a series of articles containing serious allegations against Pule.
Wisani Ngobeni, himself a former journalist and now Pule’s press secretary, subsequently attacked the Press Council for its lack of action.
But in a statement yesterday Joe Thloloe, director of the council, accused Ngobeni of writing a “rushed” press statement condemning their initial decision rather than following the proper procedure of formulating a “written argument” outlining why he thought public advocate Latiefa Mobara was wrong.
Thloloe said: “Mr Ngobeni, an experienced journalist, also knows that if he is dissatisfied with the decision of the public advocate, he is entitled to appeal to the [Press] Ombudsman. If he is still unhappy with the ombudsman’s decision, he may appeal to the chair of appeals, retired Judge President Bernard Ngoepe.
“We urge Mr Ngobeni and the department to use the system as it was meant to be used before arriving at and publishing illogical conclusions.”
Pule and Ngobeni have taken issue with investigations and reports by the Sunday Times which have repeatedly alleged a string of corruption charges against the minister, including an inappropriate relationship with Phosane Mngqibisa, who is alleged to have benefited financially from the ICT Indaba in Cape Town last year, organised by the DoC.