A complaint was lodged against Carte Blanche concerning a broadcast during which it was implied that the complainant was complicit in a corrupt property devaluation scheme allegedly conducted in the Property Evaluation Department of the Johannesburg City Council. While the complainant’s response to the situation was read out by the presenter, the complainant was not interviewed on camera and did not appear on the show. The complainant contended that sec 28.1 of the Code was infringed as the programme lacked balance. Requests afterwards by the complainant for a follow-up report to address the perceived slur on their company were denied.  Clause 28.1 is not applicable as that clause refers to news. Carte Blanche complied with both the requirements of Clause 28.2. It was clear that the interviewees expressed their opinions. The facts upon which these opinions were based were mentioned. The focus of the insert was the fraudulent conduct at the Property Evaluation Department of the City of Johannesburg. The complainant was given an option to appear on the programme but they chose to respond by letter. The video on the website falls outside the jurisdiction of the BCCSA and no finding is therefore made on that aspect of the complaint. The complaint is dismissed.     

[2017] JOL 37912 (BCCSA)

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