Who is SA's new Press Ombudsman Pippa Green?

Pippa Green replaces former ombudsman Johan Retief, who announced his resignation in late 2018 after nearly a decade.

Pippa Green. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Veteran South African journalist Pippa Green has been appointed South Africa's new Press Ombudsman.

Green replaces former ombudsman Johan Retief, who announced his resignation in late 2018 after nearly a decade.

The office of the Press Council, where the Ombudsman serves, is an independent regulatory body responsible for providing impartial, expeditious and cost-effective adjudication to settle disputes between newspapers, magazines and online publications, on the one hand, and members of the public, on the other, over the editorial content of publications.

"The [Press Council] Panel believes that as a respected media professional, Ms Green’s extensive news media and academic experience, her commitment to freedom of expression, media ethics and journalistic
standards, as well as her high profile in the industry, will maintain the confidence of both the industry and the public in the credibility and authority of the Press Ombud,” says Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, chairperson of the council's appointment panel.

Green's term commences on 1 April.


Green is a University of Cape Town (UCT) and Columbia University graduate who began working as a journalist in the early 1980s reporting for Cape Town's The Argus newspaper.

She's also an author, having written a book titled Choice, Not Fate: The life and times of Trevor Manuel on former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, whom she'd known since the start of her career.

Most recently, she co-authored a paper, Taking stock of South African income inequality with economists Murray Leibbrandt and Vimal Ranchhod for UNU-Wider.

For the past five years, Green has worked at the Research Project on Employment, Income Distribution and Inclusive
Growth, a national independent research project investigating poverty, inequality and unemployment based in the UCT School of Economics.

She'd previously headed the journalism programme at the University of Pretoria.

Green is the recipient of the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard (1999) and also serves as an executive member of the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (CASAC).

She's worked across the South African journalism landscape, as a member of the SABC Board from 2010 to 2013, a trainer and part-time news editor for Eyewitness News in the Cape Town office, deputy editor of The Sunday Independent and Pretoria News.