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Apology to Nova

On 24 February 2020 Moneyweb published with the headline: Irba reports Nova to Sars and CIPC.

The article focussed on the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors’ (Irba) referral of a reportable irregularity (RI) related to the Nova Property Group to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) for investigation.

The Nova Property Group, through its chairman Mr Connie Myburgh, lodged a complaint with the Press Ombud on March 4, 2020, regarding this article. This complaint formed part of six main complaints the Nova Property Group lodged with the Ombud regarding various Moneyweb reports.

Mr Johan Retief, acting Assistant Ombud, dismissed five of the six complaints but found Moneyweb’s subheadline of the 24 February the article was in breach of the Press Code.

The sub-headline read: “Sharemax rescue vehicle to be investigated for possible transgressions of tax legislation and the Companies Act.”

Mr Retief found that: “The statement, of fact, that Nova was ‘…to be investigated (for possible transgressions of tax legislation and the Companies Act)’ turned a possibility into a certainty. This was in breach of Section 1.3 that reads, … opinions, allegations, rumours or suppositions shall be presented clearly as such’.”

The Acting Assistant Ombud ruled that this was a Tier 2 offence.

Moneyweb, therefore, apologises to Mr Myburgh and the Nova Property Group for stating, as a fact, that it was “…to be investigated (for possible transgressions of tax legislation and the Companies Act)”.

Visit www.presscouncil.org.za for the full finding.

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These guys are clutching at straws, the sooner the courts deal with the whole Sharemax/Nova business rescue salad the better, time to deal with the real issues at hand.

So this is a huge apology for nothing really.
When do we see IRBA’s report on the findings of SARS and the CIPC on the REPORTABLE IRREGULARITY of NOVA, or will Covid-19 be used once again as an excuse by IRBA, the CIPC and SARS.

Massive failure by Johan Retief and Press Ombud. It’s clear he was forced to find fault in Ryk’s reporting.

Please keep going on Sharemax/Nova and its – let’s be careful – possibly, perhaps and/or maybe not so good business. This ruling put the nit in nitpicking in an issue that is of public interest and in which the energy should be in chasing the issue, not the deepest level of perhaps a word out of place in a heading. Yes, journalism also subject to continuous scrutiny, but in this case: Go, Moneyweb, go!

End of comments.

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