South Africa’s Sunday Sun deserves a round of apologize for most lackluster apology.
An ombudsman ruled last week that the paper must issue a statement on an article penned by Jon Qwelane, who praised Zimbabwe’s campaign against gays.
While the Sun did make mention yesterday, some say it’s not enough:
In the August 3 edition of the newspaper Deon Du Plessis wrote about Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe’s ruling that the Sunday Sun broke portions of the Press Code in publishing the homophobic article and must apologise.
While Du Plessis said in the apology letter, “…I’m sorry that we sinned against the code… And I regret that the uproar clearly hurt some people’s feelings. That is not our mission,” he did not actually apologize for publishing the article.
Du Plessis also added that he believed the column actually had a positive result, suggesting that it played a role in “reducing the angry confrontations of the past, and turning them into debates instead.”
He further emphasized the ombudsman’s decision that while the column denigrated homosexuals, it did not equate to hate speech and did not incite violence against homosexuals.
Sure, Qwelane didn’t instruct anyone to go out and beat a gay, but his approval of Robert Mugabe’s tactics definitely count as “denigration.”