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Ombudsman dismisses most DA complaints

Press Ombudsman Johan Retief did however order ‘The New Age’ to apologise or appeal the findings.

The front page of the New Age newspaper on 31 January 2013. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Press Ombudsman on Tuesday dismissed the majority of complaints laid by the Democratic Alliance (DA) against The New Age newspaper.

The grievances relate to claims that DA Leader Helen Zille was a hypocrite.

But the paper was ordered to apologise for a misleading headline and for not giving Zille a chance to respond to the claims.

Earlier in 2013, The New Age ran a series of stories claiming that Zille lied when she said she did not know parastatals were funding breakfasts hosted by the paper.

The newspaper further said she thanked Telkom for sponsoring an event, which was proof she was a hypocrite.

In his ruling, Press Ombudsman Johan Retief completely dismissed the DA's first complaint.

But Retief said the newspaper failed to give Zille a chance to reply to some claims and that one of its headlines was misleading.

The paper was ordered to apologise or appeal the finding.