Appeal Decision: Integrated Capital Management and City Press

Mon, Oct 15, 2018

In the matter of

INTEGRATED CAPITAL MANAGEMENT                                                     APPLICANT


CITY PRESS                                                                                                   RESPONDENT

                                                                                         MATTER NO: 3885/06/2018


  1. Integrated Capital Management (PTY) Ltd (“applicant”) lodged a complaint against City Press (“respondent”) in respect of a story published in 1 October 2017 with the headline: “State Capture mind-set.”  Although the story was published long ago, the Ombud, in his decision (date thereof not clear) held that the matter was justicable because the new publication provided a link to the 1 October 2017 article, thereby reviving it.
  2. The Ombud found that the opportunity for a right of reply was granted, contrary to the complaint; furthermore that the reply was published.  When therafter the applicant persisted with a complaint that the published reply was not adequate, the Ombud said that he had never sanctioned a newspaper subsequent to the publication of a reply.  He was however of the view that the reply should be published on all the relevant Media24 platforms.  He directed that the matter be dealt with further in a particular way.  He issued the following directive:

“… I need:

  1. an undertaking by the editor to publish the right of reply on all the relevant Media 24 platforms, and
  2. to know if the complainants find this way forward acceptable.

Please let me know what your decision is at your earliest convenience. (own emphasis)

Unfortunately, the Ombud then immediately proceeded to advise the parties of their right to apply for leave to appeal to the SA Press Appeals Panel. I say unfortunately because, as it is clear from what the Ombud says above especially from the emphasized portion, the parties were yet to come back to him for him to finalize he matter. That did not happen; the matter therefore remained unfinished business before him. The application for leave to appeal was therefore premature, and cannot be granted. The parties must comply with the Ombud’s directive, after which he would issue a Ruling one way or another, against which leave appeal might be sought.  

3. The application is therefore dismissed.

Dated this 10th day of October 2018

Judge B M Ngoepe, Chair, Appeals Panel