The Sunday Times (South Africa)
The Sunday Times is a popular South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

n Sunday newspaper. It has an audited circulation of 504,000 and a weekly readership of 3.2 million, making it the largest weekly newspaper in South Africa. Recently it was involved in exposing a corruption scandal involving the South African government's US$6 billion arms deal. The newspaper was founded in 1906.

Notable People

  • Editor - Ray Hartley
  • Columnists - Barry Ronge
    Barry Ronge
    Barry Ronge is a South African journalist, columnist, writer, broadcaster, movie reviewer and raconteur. He is arguably the country's best-known movie critic as well as one of its most widely-read columnists....

    , Fred Khumalo, and Chris Barron
  • Photographers - Andrzej Sawa
    Andrzej Sawa
    -Early life:Sawa was born in a German labour camp in Poland in 1941 and lived there with his mother and grandmother until the end of the Second World War in 1945...

  • Former Editors - Mondli Makhanya
    Mondli Makhanya
    Mondli Makhanya was the editor-in-chief of The Sunday Times newspaper. He also sits on the council of the South African National Editors' Forum....

    , Mathatha Tsedu, Brian Pottinger, Ken Owen, Tertius Myburgh, and Joel Mervis
  • Publisher - Mike Robertson


The Sunday Times is no stranger to controversy, given its hardline approach to South African politics. On 5 November 2007 it was reported that a consortium containing some senior government figures had launched a bid to purchase 100% of Avusa
-History:Avusa is a media company in South Africa, formerly known as Johnnic Communications. Avusa means "to rouse feelings, to revive and evokes action"...

 (previously Johncom), the company which owns The Sunday Times.

In 1992, the former columnist Jani Allan
Jani Allan
Jani Allan is a South African columnist and radio commentator. She became a household name as a columnist for the Sunday Times where she worked between 1979-90. She is also known for her alleged affair with an interviewee, the late right-wing political leader Eugène Terre'Blanche...

 sued the British broadcaster Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 for libel over affair allegations involving her and Eugene Terre'Blanche
Eugène Terre'Blanche
Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche was a former member of South Africa's Herstigte Nasionale Party who founded the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging during the apartheid era...

. Allan had previously interviewed the AWB leader for the Sunday Times. Allan had already settled out of court with the London Evening Standard and Options magazine over similar allegations. The then-news editor of the newspaper, the late Marlene Burger and newspaper astrologer Linda Shaw testified against Allan. Prior to the libel suit, Allan had published articles for the newspaper dismissing the affair allegations. Allan also allowed the newspaper to publish answerphone messages left by Terre'Blanche as well as her threats of taking legal action against Terre'Blanche for nuisance contact. Allan lost the case; the judge ruled that she had not been defamed but did not conclude whether or not an affair had taken place. The case became notorious for violence and a dirty tricks campaign. Publications such as the Financial Mail
Financial Mail
Financial Mail , is a South African business publication focused on reaching the country's top business people. This weekly publication, which was launched in 1959, underwent a major "look and feel" change in 2006, which saw it reclaim its position as the most widely read English business weekly in...

and Allan herself speculated that the defense witnesses were paid by the De Klerk regime in an attempt to destabilise the far-right in South Africa. Shaw recounted her editor, Ken Owen's reaction to the case "When I came back from London. Owen stood in the middle of the newsroom and said: 'You have single-handedly destroyed the reputation of every journalist in the country and we have become the laughing stock."

On 13 November 2005, The Sunday Times broke the story that popular African National Congress
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 (ANC) leader Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is the President of South Africa, elected by parliament following his party's victory in the 2009 general election....

 was being investigated on rape charges. It was reported that Jacob Zuma considered legal action against the publication, although it later emerged that an investigation was in fact under way. On 6 December 2005, official rape charges were filed against Jacob Zuma. Zuma would later be acquitted of rape.

By 2006, Jacob Zuma's discontent with The Sunday Times grew intensely. In March 2007, Zuma sued the paper for 6 million Rand over two columns by popular columnist David Bullard
David Bullard
David Bullard is a British-born and South African naturalized columnist, author and celebrity public speaker known for his controversial satire.-Early career:...

. The two columns, "Stupidity a mitigating circumstance for Zuma", published on 16 April 2006, and "Visit the Zuma website to see what was meant" (May 7, 2006) were cited by Zuma as defamatory and an "impairment of his dignity". Although David Bullard was found to be operating within the ethical bounds of The Sunday Times regarding the two columns, he would later fall out of favour with Editor Mondli Makhanya.

On 10 April 2008 Bullard was fired from The Sunday Times after the publication of a column on 6 April 2008 (Uncolonised Africa wouldn’t know what it was missing) received stern protest from several political parties. The editor apologised for the column, saying "by publishing him (Bullard) we were complicit in disseminating his Stone Age philosophies".

In September 2008, The Sunday Times was again vigorously attacked for publishing a highly controversial piece, this time in the form of a cartoon by critically acclaimed cartoonist Jonathon Shapiro (Zapiro
Jonathan Shapiro, born 1958 in Cape Town, is a South African cartoonist, famous as Zapiro, whose work appears in numerous South African publications and has been exhibited internationally on many occasions...

). The cartoon depicted Jacob Zuma getting ready to rape the Justice System while being assisted by the leaders of various ANC and political factions and parties. Zapiro denied any ambiguity between Jacob Zuma's depiction as a rapist in the cartoon and his earlier rape trial. The Sunday Times and its editor were slated by various ANC officials. A joint press release by the ANC, the South African Communist Party
South African Communist Party
South African Communist Party is a political party in South Africa. It was founded in 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa by the joining together of the International Socialist League and others under the leadership of Willam H...

 and the ANC Youth League lambasted The Sunday Times editor, describing him as a dictator, and called for his replacement: "We can only hope that the newspaper will find a suitable leadership other than the ranting dictator who finds joy in manipulating the truth."

External links

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