“…Business Report has today [Tuesday] relieved Donwald Pressly of his responsibilities as Cape Town bureau chief and parliamentary correspondent following a formal internal disciplinary process over his conduct,” Independent Newspapers group executive editor Karima Brown said in a statement.
“Donwald has been found to have violated the company’s editorial code of conduct and code of ethics by participating in the electoral college process of a political party… and his failure to disclose this to the editor of Business Report.”
Pressly had applied to be on the DA’s list of parliamentary candidates for the upcoming election. In January, Pressly’s attorney Michael Bagraim told Sapa his client had been honest about his political affiliation.
“He [Pressly] has admitted to belonging to the Democratic Alliance. He is not hiding the fact. He has been honest,” he said.
“As citizens, most of us should belong to political parties, that’s good citizenship.”
On Tuesday, DA executive chairman James Selfe told Sapa the party went through an entire process to find the right parliamentary candidates and that Pressly did not make it.
“No he didn’t make it onto the list… It is very unfortunate,” he said.
“We find it regrettable that people are not being able to exercise their freedom to associate politically.”
Brown said in terms of the company’s disciplinary code, Pressly had the right to appeal the decision.
“As a newspaper company we hold the trust that our readers and audiences place in us very dearly and will do all we can to safeguard this,” she said.
In November, Sunday Times executive editor Brendan Boyle was suspended after reportedly applying to become a DA MP. Boyle allegedly sent his curriculum vitae, which was later withdrawn, to the party as part of his application.