Media24 has announced the resignation of Son editor Andrew Koopman with immediate effect, and the dismissal of layout sub-editor Janice Ohlson.
Following a disciplinary hearing, Ohlson was let go after she was arrested on 11 January 2018 and subsequently charged with 140 counts of fraud. She, along with businessman Munier Abrahams, were charged after allegedly fraudulently issuing documents to employ drag queen and whistle-blower Queeny Madikizela-Malema (real name Sylvano Hendricks) as a ghost writer. Hendricks was convicted of fraud for running a pyramid scheme and released on parole in 2014. She has since served her full sentence and is now a free person. Police say Ohlson and Abrahams issued a false work schedule to the Department of Correctional Services, to allow Hendricks to move freely in the Western Cape “to commit crime”.
Koopman was suspended on 15 January 2018 pending an internal investigation. However, Head of Media24 Print Media, Ishmet Davidson stresses, “Andrew is not implicated in fraud and is not under investigation for any criminal activity. Andrew has served Media24 diligently for the past 15 years and the company thanks him for his service.”
Neil Scott, news editor of Son, will continue in the role of acting editor until a new editor is appointed.
Davidson added: “Media24 is committed to ethical practices and we believe the steps we have taken will protect the integrity and transparency of the title. Our focus now is on supporting our colleagues at the newspaper and ensuring that the newspaper continues to serve its engaged readership in the manner readers have come to expect over the past 15 years.”