For the record, I have written to Makhudu Sefara the outgoing editor of the Sunday Independent, the incoming editor and the Press Council to set the record straight on Sefara’s column of today.
I wrote as follows:
Makhudu Sefara made a false and baseless accusation against me in his column of February 26 when he said I had “circulated gossip about me (Sefara) being a Venda boy, who because of my alleged Vendaness, was being elevated”. If I had ever said such an offensive thing, I would be deeply embarrassed and I would apologise without hesitation. But I have never said it, and I hope I would never.
In fact, I know of only one occasion when something like this was written by a colleague of mine, and I made it known that I found it to be in poor taste.
Please correct the record.
Follow-up: The new editor, Moshoeshoe Monare responded quickly with an agreement to publish a retraction. The following appeared in the paper and on the website:
Apology to Anton Harber
In his last column, the former editor of The Sunday Independent Makhudu Sefara remarked that Professor Anton Harber of Wits “circulated gossip about me (Sefara) being a Venda boy, who because of my alleged Vendaness, was being elevated”.
Harber has pointed out that he has never uttered such offensive remarks.
We accept that Harber did not express the controversial views. We regret the error and apologise to Harber for any embarrassment caused. – Editor
I can’t ask for more from the paper. From the culprit, some acknowledgement of my letter would have been polite.