Pressly, Independent settle dispute

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Copy of CT DR IQBAL SURVE 9404 CAPE TIMES Dr Iqbal Surve. Photo: Ian Landsberg

Johannesburg - Former Business Report senior journalist Donwald Pressly and Independent Newspapers have settled their labour dispute, the company said on Wednesday.

“Independent Newspapers and the editor of Business Report, Mr Ellis Mnyandu, have reached an amicable agreement with Mr Donwald Pressly,” it said in a statement.

Pressly, a former Western Cape bureau chief, had referred the dispute to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA).

“The contents of the agreement remain confidential between the parties.”

On April 1, the company's group executive editor Karima Brown said Pressly was fired for seeking political office with the Democratic Alliance.

“Business Report has today relieved Donwald Pressly of his responsibilities as Cape Town bureau chief and parliamentary correspondent following a formal internal disciplinary process over his conduct,” she said in a statement at the time.

“Donwald has been found to have violated the company's editorial code of conduct and code of ethics by participating in the electoral college process of a political party... and his failure to disclose this to the editor of Business Report.”

Pressly had applied to be on the DA's list of parliamentary candidates for the May general election. In January, Pressly's attorney Michael Bagraim told Sapa his client had been honest about his political affiliation.

Later on April 1, Pressly said he would appeal his dismissal and approach the CCMA.

“I don't think I can say anything else at this point except that I find it totally extraordinary that I've been fired for seeking another job, be it with a political party. I did not get the job. I did not go into politics,” he said.

DA executive chairman James Selfe said, also on April 1, that the party went through a process to find the right parliamentary candidates and that Pressly did not make it.

“No he didn't make it onto the list... It is very unfortunate,” he said.

“We find it regrettable that people are not being able to exercise their freedom to associate politically.”


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