Press Ombudsman dismisses complaint

By Bruce Cameron Time of article published Feb 16, 2014

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As much as I have tried to report and comment fairly on the Simon Nash pension fund saga, I have been dogged by false and defamatory accusations from his camp, with many of these false claims being sent by Nash’s spin doctor, Lance Rothschild, to senior people at Independent Newspapers.

Nash, executive chairman of appliance company Cadac, is currently standing trial on charges of fraud, theft and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act arising from the alleged fraudulent stripping of retirement fund surpluses from the Sable and Cullinan/Powerpack retirement funds.

I am not the only one who has been subjected to smears from the Nash camp. Nash and his cohorts have attempted, in the most disgraceful way and without an iota of proof, to smear people at the Financial Services Board, National Treasury and National Prosecuting Authority; Tony Mostert, the curator of two retirement funds from which Nash allegedly stripped surpluses in the 1990s; and the Cadac Pension Fund from which, among other things, it is alleged he used cash partly to finance his legal costs.

The Nash camp’s latest move to intimidate me has been a complaint by Rothschild to the Press Ombudsman, Johan Retief.

The complaint related to a column I wrote in January on the smear campaign, based on a court judgment that confirmed Mostert as the curator of Cadac Pension Fund.

The allegations in the complaint did not go as far as some of the earlier defamatory statements.

The good news is that Retief did not find any points of the complaint to be in Rothschild’s favour.

In brief, Retief found: “The newspaper (Personal Finance) has done nothing wrong, and accordingly the complaint is dismissed”.

My advice to Nash and his camp: Stick to the facts of cases and do not try to distract anyone with unsubstantiated and defamatory smears.

And Mr Nash, you should consider a new spin doctor, whose work to support you will not backfire on you, as has now happened more than once.

For the full ruling by the ombudsman click on link below.

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