The Daily Sun newspaper has printed an apology to South Africa-based Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Church for the ‘biased, unfair, misleading and damning allegations’ it has been publishing against him and the church.
The South African paper—using the front page of its Wednesday March 27 2019 edition—has also unconditionally withdrawn the stories run both on its print and online editions.
The apology and withdrawal follows a ruling by the South Africa’s press Ombudsman after Prophet Bushiri lodged a complaint against the paper for continued bad press towards him and ECG church.
Of particular interest was the story the paper run accusing Prophet Bushiri and ECG of sex scandals. The paper used complainants that were faceless, unknown and unidentified.
In his ruling Press Ombudsman Johan Retief said Daily Sun reportage of Bushiri has indeed caused considerable—if not irreparable—harm to Bushiri’s reputation, as well as to the church and its leadership.
Ritief added that because that, Daily Sun breached South Africa Press Code by failing to report news fairly; to verify the accuracy of doubtful information and also to exercise care and consideration in matters involving dignity and reputation.
In his ruling, Retief directed that Daily Sun must unconditionally apologise to Bushiri, the ECG and the church’s leaders for publishing the damning allegations; and unreservedly withdraw those statements.
In their apology and withdrawal, Daily Sun wrote: “We unconditionally apologise to Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, the ECG and the church’s leaders for publishing the allegations. We unreservedly withdraw those statements that were published.”
This is not the first time for South Africa media to apologise to Bushiri. Daily Sun’s sister paper, City Press, also apologized to Bushiri for cropping a picture of him with an unknown lady to create a pictures that they were dating.