Tsholo Mosaka vs. Sunday Sun
Fri, Aug 14, 2015
Ruling by the Press Ombudsman
14 August 2015
This ruling is based on the written submissions of Ms Tsholo Mosaka and those of Prince Chauke, editor of the Sunday Sun newspaper.
Mosaka is complaining about a front-page story in Sunday Sun of 21 June 2015, headlined DJ Fresh’s ‘baby mama’ secret – Big Dawg and his manager ‘shared more than just work’.
She complains that the story falsely stated that she had:
· a son of four with DJ Fresh and that she had kept quiet about the baby – “I do not have a son… DJ Fresh is not the father of either of my (female) children”;
· commented, “I do not know what to say. Please call [DJ Fresh]. You can go ahead and open a can of worms” – which, she says, was about sensitive personal information unrelated to DJ Fresh.
The story, written by Theo Nyhaba, said sources “close to the situation” alleged that DJ Fresh, a 5FM morning show host, allegedly had a four-year-old son with Mosaka.
The Public Advocate asked Mosaka to provide her with an affidavit stating that she had two daughters and no sons (she emphasised that she wanted no names, nor any birth dates). Mosaka declined, saying her lawyer had advised her against it. “This after she agreed it would be a good idea as it would dispel all the rumours,” the Public Advocate informed me.
However, on 26 June 2015 Mosaka did make the following statement under oath:
“I do not have a boy child with Mr Sikwane or anyone for that matter, I also am not from the North West, I have two female children.”
I confronted the newspaper with this affidavit and met with Vos.
After he revealed the names of his sources to me, I asked him to double check with them to make sure there were no misunderstandings.
He reported back, confirming the “eye-witness” information of his sources, and concluded, “We believed the article to be reasonably true at the time of going to print due to the credibility of our sources… The SMS conversation (between XXX and YYY) I’ve shown to you in our prior meeting was also taken into consideration before the article was published.”
This leaves me between a rock and a hard place.
I do not believe that a hearing would change anything, as Mosaka is not likely to go back on her affidavit; neither are the sources likely to change their minds.
Also, I cannot insist on a DNA test on a child who, according to Mosaka, does not exist.
This leaves me with a rather disappointing, but the only, option.
There is no finding.
Our Complaints Procedures lay down that within seven working days of receipt of this decision, either party may apply for leave to appeal to the Chairperson of the SA Press Appeals Panel, Judge Bernard Ngoepe, fully setting out the grounds of appeal. He can be contacted at Khanyim@ombudsman.org.za.