IN A RECENT interview with JJ Tabane, IOL chairman Iqbal Survé claimed that his company had been cleared by its own internal Ombudsperson. In essence Piet Rampedi’s Decuplets story was both misleading and true at the same time, necessitating a man-hunt for 10 non-existent babies and their missing birth records — obviously never born, but somehow also trafficked, exiting the scene like a well-known religious icon on a flying horse.
The outlandish claims are not only a misrepresentation and equivocation in the face of damming evidence to the contrary, but fly in the face of both an external finding by Advocate Michael Donen, and now the Public Protector.
It was Yogas Nair, Independent Media’s own press ombud, who first issued a pronouncement that Rampedi had ‘erred in his eagerness and failed to follow standard company procedure.’ The story was thus a hoax, necessitating a retraction and apology to readers and the world, all suckered by what had been trumpeted as an ‘IOL exclusive’
The internal decision was practically reiterated by an external review by Advocate Michael Donen, whose report said the publication of the story was both “reckless”, and a breach of Independent Media’s code of ethics.
“He had it in the headline and first sentence that 10 babies were born when all he had was a report by the father. He had a duty to find corroborative evidence,” Donen explained.
Donen’s findings were noted by SANEF as was the outcome that IOL had published ‘an article stating as fact that a woman had given birth to ten babies, without any evidence’.
The external review thus recommended disciplinary action be taken against Piet Rampedi, of which very little has been heard in the aftermath, in the effort to hush-hush the outcome.
Given the latest report confirming that the media claims that a ‘Tembisa 10’ mother gave birth to decuplets in June 2021 at Steve Biko Hospital were “unsubstantiated”, one would expect at very least a public retraction from Rampedi followed by an unequivocal apology to its readers from the company and especially those journalists the group has chosen to slander, for simply exposing the hoax.
Instead, Survé has chosen to walk the path of evasion, fabrication and outright fantasy. One whopper told after the next. Take the chairman’s response to a simple question put during the Tabane interview — of the decuplet’s story, where did it end? Survé responds:
Our own Press Ombudsman found against the editor Piet Rampedi, which shows you that our Press Ombudsman system works, that it was very critical of Piet Rampedi. It was critical of Piet Rampedi not for the fact whether or not there were decuplets or not. It was critical because of the way he reported it and because he had not verified certain information. However as a result of the seriousness of that matter, what I then did was appoint one of the top retired human rights advocates in the country … Adv Michael Donen
Survé then claims that far from lacking any evidence to support the assertion, Donen instead “confirmed multiple births, and there was trafficking”.
At the time of writing this, Medialternatives had yet to receive comment from Donen.