No bed of roses along garden path

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Ramaphosa INLSA Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Antoine de Ras.

Johannesburg - And so it is that Cyril Ramaphosa not only accepted nomination to be ANC deputy president, he has now become one.

At the very outset, I must point out that our reporter who worked on the piece was led down an unsavoury garden path. So The Star apologises unreservedly to Ramaphosa and the ANC for creating, in our December 17 edition, a wrong impression that Ramaphosa had declined nomination to become President Jacob Zuma’s party deputy. We got it wrong.

I decided not to do a straight down-page apology in order to correct another wrong too.

Some newspapers, it seems, got a bit too excited (and forgot to call me for comment) on Tuesday, reporting on the resignation of Gaye Davis, Independent Newspapers’ group deputy political editor. It was reported that Davis told Ramaphosa that “she had told her bosses that she was not comfortable with the story but they insisted on it”.

For the record, this was not so. She had not, in fact, phoned, e-mailed or SMSed me about her concerns. There was a misunderstanding between Davis and the author of the report which led her to believe, incorrectly, that I did not place much value on her concerns. She has since apologised to me for this incorrect assumption, which led to her resignation.

It’s a pity that even with the best of intentions and efforts, errors will creep in and reporters will be misled. We’re all fallible. To err is human. The point, though, is to do everything humanly possible to avoid or minimise them and to improve quality-control checks.

But when we are misled, as might happen from time to time, we must remember that the press council code of conduct exists for such anticipated, though not hoped-for, eventualities.

The Star

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