The South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF) says it is deeply concerned and disappointed by the ethical breaches in the opinion piece by veteran investigative journalist, Jacques Pauw.
The opinion piece was published by the Daily Maverick last week Friday.
In it, Pauw talks about his apparent arrest and detention by the police at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Pauw accused three officers of having stolen R1 000 from him.
The veteran investigative journalist has, however, since released a statement apologising for the false accusations.
In a statement released on Tuesday, he says he was intoxicated and his “memory was blurred”.
“I feel embarrassed about my conduct. In this era of fake news, propaganda and lack of accountability, I must publicly accept responsibility for my own actions and apologise for them.”
SANEF says Pauw’s ethical breach undermines the work that is being done to rebuild trust between the public and the media.
“SANEF believes that this ethical breach undermines the work currently underway to rebuild trust between the media and the public. Editors and journalists must hold themselves to the highest ethical standards. The public expects the truth from us at all times. We must also not abuse our privilege of access to media platforms and the might of our pens,” the editors’ forum says.
Social media reaction
Social media users have also weighed in on the matter.
They blasted Pauw for the opinion piece, accusing him of deliberately misleading the public about what really happened at that time.
Others have questioned the accuracy of his previous publications, including his books.
They have called for action to be taken against the veteran journalist.
Pauw and Daily Maverick have since retracted the column and apologised for the article.
Below are just some of the reactions:
I am still on the #JacquesPauw‘s lies, what was he trying to achieve by writing that column????
— malungelo booi (@malungelob) February 17, 2021
— Jacques Cupido (@jacquescupido12) February 16, 2021
I see he is still being called an “investigative journalist and author” but in reality he should be called what he is a “disgraced investigative journalist and speculative author”. #JacquesPauw has Pinocchio tendencies. pic.twitter.com/dp8kLvlDW2
— Jamie Mighti – independant analyst. (@MightiJamie) February 16, 2021
In which the Mkhwebane was never given an access to with the permission of Jacob Zuma
Did he lie on his book about those such that giving PP would expose the book lies that Pravin signed pic.twitter.com/xvIUUsYmvw
— M S I V A N A 🚀 (@SiveXaluva) February 17, 2021
Even humans who do great things most of the time when they do wrong, unethical things they must be called out, criticisised etc.. People should not be excused with to “err is human.” Nor should their greatness mean they can’t be held accountable. Wrong is wrong. #JacquesPauw
— Mahlatse Mahlase (@hlatseentle) February 17, 2021
We must assume that the article was written in a state of sobriety. Which was after the arrest. The quotes were purportedly verbatim. We were in that restaurant as he was made to face the wall. So it is fair to conclude that the abuse of public trust was premeditated & deliberate
— Aldrin Sampear (@AldrinSampear) February 16, 2021