Sunday Times asked to return journalism award for tainted 'death squad' stories

The Sunday Times has officially been stripped of the journalism award given for its controversial reporting on the Cato Manor 'death squad'.

The conveners of the Taco Kuiper Award decided to investigate the allegations that the paper ran 'tainted' scoops on the so-called death squads in 2011.

It's since been alleged that the reports on the Cato Manor killings were used to push an agenda that led to the suspension of KZN’s Hawks head, Johan Booysen.

The journalists involved in the story were Stephan Hoffstatter, Mzilikazi wa Africa and Rob Rose.

Anton Harber, a convener of the Taco Kuiper Award, says the judging panel had received a motivation from Booysen to review the award at the same time that the publication took the decision to withdraw the stories.

Read: Major General Johan Booysen says he feels vindicated by Sunday Times apology

Harber says the while elements of the story had merit, "shoddy journalism", "questionable witnesses" and lack of verification made it unreliable.

There was a legitimate investigation into that Cato Manor Hawks unit that was justified, but unfortunately they messed up the story.

Anton Harber, Adjunct professor of journalism - Wits University

The result had serious consequences for individuals, the Hawks and the whole state capture agenda.

Anton Harber, Adjunct professor of journalism - Wits University

He says the journalists involved did not apply critical scrutiny to the story and sources used while investigating.

We ran our own investigation and came to the conclusion that there were major problems with the story.

Anton Harber, Adjunct professor of journalism - Wits University

There were factual inaccuracies, errors and gaps in the story.

Anton Harber, Adjunct professor of journalism - Wits University

Elements of the story allowed themselves to be led along by people whose intentions were politically motivated and not the truth

Anton Harber, Adjunct professor of journalism - Wits University

Harber says journalists need to be held more accountable for their negligence.

Listen to the full discussion on Afternoon Drive with Joanne Joseph:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
 #IAmStaying initiative makes moves to become an NGO

#IAmStaying initiative makes moves to become an NGO

Jarette Petzer chats to Joanne Joseph about the initiative and its plans.

Ndlovu Youth Choir set to host its homecoming concert in partnership with 702

Ndlovu Youth Choir set to host its homecoming concert in partnership with 702

The choir will celebrate their success and bring you the “Ndlovu Youth Choir Live - Homecoming Concert” on 2 November 2019.

Gauteng matric exams affected by load shedding, alternative plans in place

Gauteng matric exams affected by load shedding, alternative plans in place

MEC Panyaza Lesufi says they are crossing their fingers as the department was caught off guard by the scheduled power outages.

YES beneficiary says he has learnt to be more business-minded

YES beneficiary says he has learnt to be more business-minded

Sbongiseni Diedricks joined the programme in April this year and currently works as an assistant operator at Widlands Recycling depot.

[LISTEN] How to prevent a heat stroke or heat exhaustion

[LISTEN] How to prevent a heat stroke or heat exhaustion

Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa vice chairperson Dr Charl van Loggerenberg shares his insights.

Axed Algoa FM DJ Daron Mann feels 'blindsided' by the station's  management

Axed Algoa FM DJ Daron Mann feels 'blindsided' by the station's management

The radio DJ who had been with the station for almost 28 years was dismissed after sharing his views on the dairy industry.

Popular articles
[WATCH] Commuters on station stop train from hitting passenger

[WATCH] Commuters on station stop train from hitting passenger

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[WATCH] Boy explaining what he heard when parents had sex goes viral

[WATCH] Boy explaining what he heard when parents had sex goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

South Africa quietly reclassifies 33 wild species as farm animals

South Africa quietly reclassifies 33 wild species as farm animals

Some of the endangered wildlife has now been listed as farming stock under key legislation that governs breeding.

It's VW, but not as you know it - Why did Volkswagen change its logo?

It's VW, but not as you know it - Why did Volkswagen change its logo?

John Maytham asks what's behind Volkswagen's new-look logo...

5 retirement saving tips for those who left it late

5 retirement saving tips for those who left it late

It’s better to start late than never! The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Jeanette Marais.

[WATCH] Woman faints after hairdresser cuts 12-inch hair without telling her

[WATCH] Woman faints after hairdresser cuts 12-inch hair without telling her

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.