ARRL’s South Africa portal, the portal where South Africans share news, events and stories, has been suspended following the country’s National Emergency Authority’s (NEMA) ruling that it is “unnecessary” to provide its readers with the full facts of the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
“I cannot be responsible for spreading misinformation to readers of ARRL,” the portal’s editor-in-chief, David Ries, said in a statement.
The news portal was suspended in the wake of a ruling by the NEMA, which is tasked with enforcing emergency declarations in the country.
“The NEMA is the only authority in South Africa that is empowered to enforce a national emergency declaration,” the NHA said in its decision, which has been widely condemned by South Africans.
The agency said the portal had been suspended in light of “unrelated matters” relating to the NDA’s declaration.
In the statement, the NNA also said it had ordered the suspension of the portal due to “unreliable reporting.”
“The portal has been closed in the interest of the public to ensure a fair, accurate and timely analysis of the state of emergency, as well as to ensure the safety of the citizens,” it added.
Ries said he was “very disappointed” by the decision.
“We will appeal this decision and ensure the portal is reinstated soon.”
The decision came after a ruling from the NIA on December 10 that the ARRL has no authority to report on the death toll in the earthquake and tsunami.
It said that the portal should be treated as a news outlet, which cannot provide “false information” about the disaster.
“There is no factual basis to claim that ARRL is spreading misinformation in the coverage of the disaster,” the agency said.
The portal had previously reported on the “fatal and unprecedented” quake, which struck the coast of South Africa on February 16, that killed more than 6,000 people.
Riosa and his wife were killed in the quake, while many other people were left homeless.
ARRL said it has been working with the NADA to “ensure that the information we provide is accurate.”
It added that it was “working with the National Emergency Agency (NEA) to ensure that ARRRL’s reporting is accurate and factual.”