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The Press Ombudsman Johan Retief has resigned

The Press Ombudsman, Johan Retief, has resigned.Both Retief and Latiefa Mobara, executive director of the Press Council of South Africa, confirmed to News24 that he has left the organisation.

According to Retief, his decision has nothing to do with the media environment or controversy around previous rulings. Mobara said Retief’s resignation is because of personal reasons.

The Press Council is an independent body charged with regulating and managing complaints by the public against the digital and print media. It was established in 2012 after an investigation by the Press Freedom Commission headed by former chief justice Pius Langa.

The commission recommended a stronger system of independent regulation of the media and bigger public involvement in the process. The Press Council is a voluntary body and most media houses in the country subscribes to its code of ethics and oversight.

Retief’s last judgment was published on Tuesday, in which he dismissed a complaint by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu against the Sunday Times.

He also wrote the judgment finding against the Sunday Times about the newspaper’s discredited stories about the so-called “rogue unit” at SARS.