The Press Council of South Africa has appointed Mr Fanie Groenewald as acting Public Advocate, with immediate effect, Executive Director Ms Latiefa Mobara announced on Thursday 20 February 2020.
Mr Groenewald is a long-standing member of the Panel of Adjudicators of the Press Council, a former Tshwane University of Technology journalism lecturer and a former Beeld newspaper journalist. He will act as Public Advocate until a permanent appointment is made to replace the former public advocate, Mr Joe Latakgomo.
Ms Mobara said: “We are delighted that Fanie Groenewald has agreed to act as the Public Advocate. He is one of our most-experienced adjudicators who has contributed to many rulings, hearings and appeals at the Press Council during the past decade.
“He understands the Press Code of South Africa intimately, having contributed deeply to its development, and he will act as the complainants’ friend – helping complainants to formulate their complaints against our subscriber members who may have transgressed and attempting to mediate fair and reasonable settlements.
“If he is unable to resolve matters by mediation and they get referred to Ms Pippa Green, the Press Ombud, for adjudication; Fanie will be available to assist and act as the representative of the complainant at the hearing.
“It is a vital role in the Press Council and Fanie will act to ensure that the process, which is free to complainants, is speedy and efficient.”