mce_keep=”true”Bullard publicly apologised for the !_LT_EMSunday Times!_LT_/EM href=”http://www.thetimes.co.za/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=741855″ target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.thetimes.co.za/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=741855″column on colonialism over which he was fired the week before.
mce_keep=”true”In href=”http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A751187″ target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A751187″the apology, which was published on Friday (18 April) in Business Day, Bullard admits he had written some columns “purely for sensation”. “Readership of the column grew and I became heady with its success and pushed the boundaries. Last week I pushed that boundary too far,” it reads.
Bullard apologised to those he had offended, including Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya (who sacked him), and said he had “betrayed the friendship of so many unseen good friends (readers)”. “…and that is unforgivable. Even for an iconoclastic columnist.”
He told TheMediaOnline apologising “was the right thing to do”.
“There is no point in being arrogant. A sufficient number of people were genuinely offended. I hope this will go some way to sort it out.”
He doesn’t think Sunday Times would have published his apology. When !_LT_EMBusiness Day!_LT_/EM editor Peter Bruce “kindly offered” him the space in which to apologise, following his apology on !_LT_EM3Talk with Noeleen!_LT_/EM on Wednesday, he accepted.
Despite admitting to having pushed the boundaries too far, Bullard will approach the Labour Court following his “wrongful dismissal” by !_LT_EMSunday Times!_LT_/EM. He says the suit will be based on the Avusa paper’s “cavalier disregard” for the Employment Act.
He says he has no intention of going back to the Sunday Times Ã¢Â€Â“ “even if they offer me ten times my salary”.
“I must say I have immense affection for my colleagues, but not so for management. If they (management) were all struck down by a plane, I would probably celebrate.”
Bullard says Victor Dlamini, who had lodged a complaint against him about his column with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), has withdrawn the complaint. He would, however, still like to see an open hearing take place to discuss “the bounds of humour and satire”.
SAHRC spokesperson Vincent Moaga could not confirm the withdrawal on Friday or say how it would affect the commission’s position on the Bullard matter. He said Dlamini had talked to Tseliso Thipanyane, CEO of the SAHRC.
Thipanyane was not available for comment on Friday. (The commission href=”/themedia/view/themedia/en/page1351?oid=7984&sn=Detail” target=_blank mce_href=”/themedia/view/themedia/en/page1351?oid=7984&sn=Detail”has since commented. Ã¢Â€Â“ Editor)
Moaga said on Thursday (17 April) the commission was considering href=”/themedia/view/themedia/en/page2164?oid=7741&sn=Detail” target=_blank mce_href=”/themedia/view/themedia/en/page2164?oid=7741&sn=Detail”taking the Bullard matter to the Equality Court. Three complaints were received.
Bullard has not yet made a decision about the future of his column. href=”http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article.aspx?pDesc=62820,1,22″ target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article.aspx?pDesc=62820,1,22″Citizen has made him a “generous offer”, but he does not consider any expressions of interest firm offers until the paperwork has been finalised.
“I might go into something else Ã¢Â€Â“ I could be involved with cars. Or I might go to Italy for three months.
“I don’t desperately need to sell the column.”
Makhanya did not respond to a request for comment.