The Press Council has questioned Independent Media’s decision to appoint its own ombud and abandon its membership with the regulatory body. Press Council director Joe Thloloe said on Friday the move was ironic in the week that the industry commemorated Black Wednesday — the day in October 1977 on which the apartheid government shut down various newspapers and its critics. Independent Media on Thursday said it was no longer a Press Council member and that it had appointed its own ombudsman‚ Jovial Rantao‚ to adjudicate over its complaints. Rantao has edited a number of Independent publications including the Sunday Independent and the Sunday Tribune. It cited the absence of a waiver — the declaration by which complainants waive their rights to continue with a complaint in a court or other tribunal after submission to the Press Council — as its reason for leaving. "The removal of the waiver by the Press Council has the unintended consequence of involving Independent Media and other med...

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