CCMA clears former M&G politics editor

Staff Reporter

The Mail & Guardian and its former Political Editor Matuma Letsoalo have reached a settlement after he took the newspaper to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for unfair dismissal. 

The M&G announced in December that it has terminated Letsoalo’s employment contract, claiming he failed to disclose his business interests.  

However, Letsoalo took the matter to the CCMA, pointing out that he has always declared his business interests to the employer and his former editors as required by the Editorial Code of Ethics. 

At the CCMA this week, the M&G made a financial settlement offer to Letsoalo for his unfair dismissal case.  

The CCMA is an independent dispute resolution body established in terms of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995, to resolve workplace disputes between employees and their employers.

Letsoalo, a multi-award winning journalist, is not lost to journalism completely.

“Now that the matter has been resolved, I would like to put my energy in growing my media venture in South Africa and the continent, and contribute towards strengthening democracy, media freedom and promoting transformation, black media ownership and control,” said Letsoalo. 

“Through our digital platforms, we will consider some of those journalists who were retrenched and laid off over the past few years. Dozens of journalists have lost their jobs, resulting in the juniorization of many newsrooms across the country. This is as a result of a slump in the economy and disruptions in technology that comes with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We have no choice but to adapt to new realities.” 

Letsoalo holds shares in The Teacher newspaper, previously owned by the M&G. He also owns two digital publications – Inside Politic and Inside Education.   

Mail & Guardian chief executive officer Hoosain Karjieker said he was happy the company was able to resolve the matter and reach a settlement with Letsoalo. 

“The M&G is happy the matter has been resolved amicably,” said Karjieker.

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