Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation. This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.
It is a pity that The New Age, the planned newspaper which has positioned itself as “broadly supportive of the government”, did not appear today as planned because of the resignation of 5 senior editors (including the editor-in-chief and the deputy editor) yesterday, just a few hours before the first edition had to go to print. South Africa needs a more diverse print media and judging from its website, the new product would have provided a lively but credible new voice to the media landscape.
I was rather startled though when I went to The New Age website and a window popped up with the following advertisement.
That was quick.
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