The Sunday Times (South Africa)

The Sunday Times (South Africa)

Infobox Newspaper
name = The Sunday Times

caption =
type = Weekly newspaper
format = Broadsheet
foundation = 1906
ceased publication =
price =
owners =
political position =
publisher =
editor = Mondli Makhanya
staff =
circulation =
headquarters =
website = []

"The Sunday Times" is a popular South African 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.


*Editor - Mondli Makhanya.
*Columnists - Barry Ronge, Fred Khumalo, Gwen Gill and Chris Barron.
*Former Leading Columnist - Jani Allan. Allan had popular columns such as 'Face to Face' and 'Just Jani' during the 1980s.
*Former Columnists - David Bullard
*Former Editors - Mathatha Tsedu, Tertius Myburgh.
*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 (previously Johncom), the company which owns The Sunday Times. [The Guardian [,,2205326,00.html] ] .

On 13 November 2005, The Sunday Times broke the story that popular African National Congress (ANC) leader Jacob Zuma 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 December 6 2005, offical 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 collumns by popular columnist David Bullard. The two columns, "Stupidity a mitigating circumstance for Zuma", published on April 16 2006, and "Visit the Zuma website to see what was meant" (May 7 2006) were sited by Zuma as defamatory and an "impairment of his dignity". [The Arms Deal Virtual Press Office] 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 the 6th of 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" [The Times] .

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). 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 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." [Official ANC Web page]


External links

* []

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