Apology to Valoyi Traditional Authority Trust, Princess Nkambule and Hosi TLP Nwamitwa

On July 23 2023, Sunday World published an article under the headline, “Tzaneen ICT hub grinds to a halt after fallout with royals”, reporting a dispute between Tsakani Mkhari, founder of an entity known as Hope Givers Foundation (HGF), and the Valoyi Traditional Authority Trust (VTAT), headed by Hosi TLP Nwamitwa.

The foundation had leased premises owned by the traditional authority after it was awarded R5-million by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) to support small, medium and micro enterprises in Limpopo.

Hosi Nwamitwa, the VTAT and Princess Tsakani Nkambule, a trustee of the VTAT and a member of the Seda board, lodged a complaint against Sunday World in regard to the article. Ruling in the initial complaint, the Deputy Press Ombudsman dismissed two aspects of the complaint, which the applicants later appealed.


Firstly, the appellants argued that the article contravened clause 1.1 and/or 1.2 of the Code; that is, that it was an unfair and/or not balanced reporting because the words “of the Seda funds” were not included in the letter of demand; the letter only demanded payment of R2.5-million as damages resulting from the breach of the lease between HGF and the trust.

The second complaint was against the reported allegation that Nkambule abused her position on the Seda board and her royal standing to frustrate the HGF project.

The Appeals Panel ruled that we breached clause 1.1 of the Press Code by publishing the allegation that the letter from the appellants’ lawyers demanded R2.5-million of “the Seda funds” and that we breached clause 1.8 by not giving Nkambule the opportunity to comment on the
allegation of her abusing her powerful position to frustrate the HGF’s project.

The Appeals Panel ordered Sunday World to retract the statement and to apologise to the complainants.

Sunday World apologises to Hosi Nwamitwa, Nkambule and the VTAT for publishing that their lawyers demanded “the Seda funds”. We also apologise to Nkambule for publishing the allegation that she abused her membership of the Seda board and the Valoyi royal family and retracts this allegation.

In addition, in terms of the Deputy Press Ombudsman’s original ruling, Sunday World apologises to the VTAT for not affording it the right of reply and to Hosi Nwamitwa for unfairly and unjustifiably implying in the cross-reference that she was directly involved in the dispute between the VTAT and the HGF.


Read the full ruling and Hosi Nwamitwa and the Valoyi Traditional Authority Trust’s right of reply on https://sundayworld.co.za

The deputy ombuds’ ruling and the ruling of the appeals panel can be found on the Press Council’s website, www.presscouncil.org.za

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