'I should have told the Sunday Times the pot smoking was irrelevant'

Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw has been met with criticism for his Sunday Times article on Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report on the alleged South African Revenue Services (Sars) 'rogue' unit.

Pauw reports that Mkhwebane’s main witness on the rogue unit Keletso Manyike said he was employed by Sars, but he had never submitted evidence for the report attributed to him.

The article also mentioned that Manyike is a 'dope-smoking Rastafarian'.

Eusebius McKaiser speaks to Pauw about the article and asks if those facts about Mnayike were relevant.

Pauw explains that while he did write that Manyike was a Rastafarian he did not elaborate that the man smoked marijuana.

The story I presented to the Sunday Times made no mention of pot smoking, for example.

Jacques Pauw, Investigative journalist and author

The Sunday Times desk had subbed it to highlight this point, but he acknowledges he should have caught that change and corrected it before it went to publication.

Late on Saturday afternoon, they sent me the pages to have a look at, and I was on my way to the airport. I should have told the Sunday Times that it was irrelevant that he was pot smoking. I take responsibility, and I profusely apologise.

Jacques Pauw, Investigative journalist and author

Pauw says it was relevant for him to mention that Manyike was a Rastafarian.

The fact that he is a leading member of the Rastafari movement is relevant and he mentioned that several times when I spoke to him.

Jacques Pauw, Investigative journalist and author

I apologise if in any way I caused any harm or discomfort.

Jacques Pauw, Investigative journalist and author

Listen to the full interview below...


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