Appeal Decision: Accommodation Option Event CC vs Sunday World


Thu, Sep 13, 2018

PRESS COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRICA

In the matter between:

ACCOMMODATION OPTION EVENT CC                                                     APPLICANT

AND

SUNDAY WORLD                                                                                         RESPONDENT

MATTER NO:A

DECISION ON AN APPLICATION FOR CONDONATION TO APPEAL

1.         Accommodation Option Event CC (“applicant”) had lodged a complaint against Sunday World (“respondent”).  The Press Ombud ruled in favour of the applicant and ordered the respondent to publish an apology.  The Ombud’s Ruling was issued on 17 July 2018. 

2.         By the time the period within which the applicant or any of the parties was entitled to file an application for leave to appeal lapsed, none had done so.  The office of the Ombud having confirmed that, the respondent went ahead and published the apology on 29 July 2018.  The applicant is of the view that the sanction imposed is too lenient and now wants leave to appeal against it.

3.         The applicant has changed attorneys.  The new firm says they received instructions only on 31 July 2018, and they could not file the application for leave to appeal timeously.

4.         I am of the view that the condonation or, as the applicant puts it, the extension, cannot be granted.  Firstly, the sanction has already been published; it was published on 29 July 2018, even before the request for the extension was submitted. We cannot unscramble the omelette at this stage. Secondly, the request does not establish prospects of success before the Appeals Panel; in the absence of such prospects, the granting of leave to appeal would be academic.

5.         For the reasons given above, as well as those furnished by the Ombud, the application is declined.

Dated this 12th day of September 2018

Judge B M Ngoepe, Chair, Appeals Panel