“Our apology had nothing to do with political pressure,” EWN editor-in-chief Katy Katopodis said.
“It was about our audience, who we serve. It was an apology to our audience.”
She said the apology for a cartoon published on the EWN website titled “Congress of Clowns. And the clowns who voted them in”, was made before the African National Congress publicly complained about it.
The cartoon depicts two groups of clowns, one identified as the newly appointed ministers, shown with big red noses, and the other group identified as voters, accompanied by a description reading “we the poephols”.
Late last month, the ANC held a protest march over the cartoon.
At the time, the ANC said in a statement that the cartoon had racial undertones and insulted voters.
“Such attitudes, particularly from the media, reinforce the view that some sections of the media misuse the freedom of expression to undermine gains made thus far.”
The ANC on Wednesday lodged a formal complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission over the cartoon.
EWN, Primedia, and the cartoon’s creators Dr Jack & Curtis have apologised for the cartoon.
“We at EWN apologise for any unintended offence caused. We at EWN will continue to strive for free speech and editorial independence.”