Sunday Times, SowetanLIVE Ordered to Apologise for False Allegations Against Mayor de Lille

The Press Ombudsman on Wednesday found in favour of Mayor Patricia de Lille, after she laid a complaint against the Sunday Times and SowetanLIVE.

In a story that was published on 16 March 2018, both publishers alleged that an arbitrator from the South African Local Government Bargaining Council made a “scathing” judgement of nepotism against Mayor de Lille.

The article went on further to claim that the arbitrator had suggested that Mayor de Lille had “employed her circle of friends”.

The Ombudsman had found these allegations by the publishers to be ‘misleading, inaccurate and unfair’.

The article went on further to specifically suggest that the arbitrator found that Mayor de Lille “told the executive director for area-based delivery‚ Louis Scheepers‚ that the requirements for the posts should not include a minimum number of years’ experience”.

The Ombudsman once again found these allegations to be false.

The publishers were ordered to publish an apology for these false allegations on the page where the allegations were published.

They were also ordered to apologise for not giving Mayor de Lille adequate time to respond and for failing to publish her response after it became available.

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