Dasnois wins landmark court case

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In a landmark settlement today (9 May 2016), Independent Newspapers conceded that it was Dasnois’ prerogative as editor to decide how to publish the news of the death of Madiba. ODAC also welcomes the acknowledgement by Independent Newspapers that Alide Dasnois was not motivated by racism, and that they (Independent Newspapers) retract all allegations of racism made against her.

Alide Dasnois was removed from her position of editor of the Cape Times by the new chief executive of the Independent Newspapers, Iqbal Surve, on 6 December 2013 at a meeting in Claremont.  She was fired from the company five months later, following a disciplinary hearing which found her guilty of misconduct, incompatibility and incapacity.

In particular, the hearing found she was guilty of "dereliction of duty and/or a gross lack of judgement" in failing to "lead editorially" with the death of Nelson Mandela in the second edition of the Cape Times on 6 December 2013.

The first edition of the newspaper (printed before Madiba's death) led with a story about a long-awaited report by the Public Protector finding that one of the Sekunjalo companies, Sekunjalo Marine Services Consortium, had been improperly awarded by the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fishing.  For the second edition, this edition was folded inside the new Mandela special edition.

This is a victory for journalists who seek to publish the news, and for editorial independence.

Read the legal statement here.

 Read about ODAC'S support of Alide Dasnois' case here.