Johannesburg - The Press Ombudsman on Wednesday ordered Drum magazine to publish front page apologies to convicted murderer Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and Zenith Mia.
This comes after the magazine published an article in June, claiming that the pair were caught having sex at the Johannesburg Prison where Maarohanye is serving a 25-year jail term for murder, attempted murder, driving under the influence of drugs and racing on a public road.
The magazine reported that the musician had special privileges in prison including having a private cell, a laptop and cellphone.
Mia laid a compliant with the ombudsman and Maarohanye's family laid a separate complaint on his behalf.
Both of them complained that the report was unfair, inaccurate and untruthful. They claimed it was based on rumours and allegations and the information used was not corroborated.
Maarohanye's family claimed the article implied that “he had not been paying his debt to society, that he was unrepentant and that he was not abiding by the rules.”
This could have a negative effect on his scheduled appeal.
The department of correctional services told the ombudsman that Maarohanye was never caught having sex, as reported by the magazine.
It claimed to also have no knowledge of a warder known as Zodwa Motweni who was quoted in the article.
Mia told the ombudsman she had visited the prison on the day she was reported to have had sex with Maarohanye but she was there in her capacity as a director of Rare Breed Entertainment which had contributed to the sponsorship of an event held at the prison.
She did not see Maarohanye on that day. She claimed to have never told a Drum journalist that she was Maarohanye's girlfriend and also dismissed allegations that she was a convicted drug smuggler.
Mia said the allegations against her had adversely affected her family, her work and her social and religious life.
Drum was ordered to
* apologise to Maarohanye and Mia, without any reservations, for inaccurately stating as fact that they had sex in prison, and for unnecessarily tarnishing their dignity and reputation;
* publish on its front page the following words in appropriately big type: “Apology to Mia * we inaccurately reported that she had sex with Jub Jub in prison (page 8/9)”; and “Apology to Jub Jub * we inaccurately reported that he had had sex in prison (page 8/9)”;
* publish on page 8 or 9 the apology, together with a summary of the ombudsman's finding;
* publish the text at the top of that page, and include in its headline the words “apology” or “apologises”, and “Mia” and “Jub Jub.”
The publication was to supply the ombudsman with the text prior to its publication.