Sgwili Gumede vs Sunday Sun

Complainant: Sgwili Gumede

Lodged by: Sgwili Gumede

Article: Manyisa’s horny makoti

Date: 6 November 2015

Respondent: Johan Vos, deputy editor of the Sunday Sun


Gumede is complaining about a headline in Sunday Sun of 18 October 2015 (Manyisa’s horny makoti).

He complains that the language was graphic, offensive, foul and vile and not in keeping with the Press Code.

The arguments

Vos says the headline typical of Sunday Sun headlines. “It must be seen in context: the context of being a tabloid and catering for a specific reader/market. We therefore stand by this headline.”

Gumede replies the response by the Sunday Sun is typical of an editor that has no respect for his readers or the trade or the cultural differences. “Here is an editor in Africa with a western centric tabloid view insulting our intelligence… I stand by my complaint…and my understanding of the press code…”

My considerations

The complaint can only centre on the word “horny”. Section 2.7 of the Press Code says, “Reports…relating to indecency or obscenity shall be presented with due sensitivity to the prevailing moral climate…”

I take into account that the newspaper is a tabloid, that readers can justifiably expect a word such as “horny” in that publication, and that the word itself is probably not offensive to most readers.

I therefore have no reason to believe that the newspaper, in exercising its right to freedom of expression, has transgressed the boundaries that exist by using the word “horny”. Also, I do not believe that “cultural differences” come into play in this instance.


The complaint is dismissed.


Our Complaints Procedures lay down that within seven working days of receipt of this decision, either party may apply for leave to appeal to the Chairperson of the SA Press Appeals Panel, Judge Bernard Ngoepe, fully setting out the grounds of appeal. He can be contacted at

Johan Retief

Press Ombudsman