Sunday Sun apologises to Ms Uyanda Mbuli and to all our readers for fabricating parts of the article headlined “LEGAL LINE DRAWN” on 29 July 2018.
This follows a complaint lodged by Mbuli with the office of the Press Ombud, who found that the journalist had “spiced up” certain parts of the story
The article was about Mbuli who had opened a case of crimen injuria against Ms S. Ramushu for accusing her of “allegedly milking a blesser from Dubai”. According to police information, the alleged incident happened at Florence Essence, a beauty spa in Sandton.
The police statement indicated that Ramushu had asked Mbuli to take a picture with her. Mbuli later received a Facebook screenshot of a picture taken of her with Ramushu. The statement then said the text of the screenshot had stated that people had to be careful of Uyanda as she had a blesser in Dubai.
Press Ombud Johan Retief found that none of the following statements in our article could be substantiated:
- Mbuli’s ‘affidavit’ mentioned three unidentified women who also ‘ganged up on her, using foul language’;
- Ramushu accused Mbuli, in Florence Essence, of gaining wealth from a blesser in Dubai;
- Mbuli told the police the insults continued on her cellphone; and
- Ramushu (while at the beauty spa) threatened to spread the allegations on social media.
“I have no other reasonable explanation for this than to believe that the journalist has made this up… But that is not all. Nowadays, the media are bombarded with fake news, which is the deliberate intention to mislead them – and sometimes they become the victim in this process for not realising in time what has happened. In this case, though, the media became the source of fake news – disinformation not received by, but created by the publication. The seriousness of such an offence cannot be under-estimated, as such ‘reportage’ erodes the credibility of the media – which, really, is the lifeblood of the industry. Without credibility, the media have nothing,” he stated.
We apologise to Mbuli and our readers for the factual inaccuracies and hereby retract the article.
Visit www.presscouncil.org.zafor the full finding.