Gupta-owned broadcaster ANN7 has been smacked with a R10 000 fine by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) after twice misquoting Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's tweet on colonialism.
BCCSA commissioner Dr Linda Venter said that for the re-occurrence of the same negligent error, a R10 000 fine must be paid to the BCCSA within 15 days after the broadcaster was notified. They were notified today.
ANN7 quoted Zille's tweet as "colonialism was not at all bad". She had in fact tweeted that colonialism was not all bad.
The complainant who wrote to the BCCSA said, "Newspapers are forced to print corrections and apologise for their mistakes, but ANN7 seems able to get away with saying or printing anything it likes."
In response ANN7 has apologised.
It blamed the error on a video-editor, saying that while refreshing the screen, the visual graphic had incorrectly added the word "at" to the original quote.
"Prior to the mistake, the channel was using the correct visual graphic."
BCCSA said it recorded a second complaint on the same issue.
"This time it could not be blamed on a system error, the news editor should have noticed it."
Venter said, "I came to the conclusion that the apology should be repeated and the registrar informed at least 48 hours before it is broadcast so that the relevant parties may be informed thereof."