Wits Vuvuzela published a report on 8 September about a university investigation into a romantic relationship between a lecturer and a student in the School of Geology, Archaeology and Environmental Sciences. The couple, who were not named in the report, laid a complaint with Press Ombud Johan Retief, who ruled that while we had obtained comment from the lecturer concerned, we were at fault in not having obtained comment from the affected student, and ordered us to apologise to her. We do so unreservedly. We have offered her the opportunity to respond to the story, but she has elected not to take up the offer.
After the initial report, Wits Vuvuzela received a letter of demand from the complainants’ lawyers, demanding that no more reports on the matter should be published. In the letter, they stated that complainants against the couple had withdrawn allegations against them. The Ombud also ruled we should have reported this particular statement in the lawyers’ letter in our follow-up report, and ordered us to apologise for not having done so. We apologise for this also.
The Ombud ruled in favour of Wits Vuvuzela on seven other complaints by the couple.
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