Analysis

“Let’s Meet In Court” Piet Rampedi to Jacques Pauw Over Child Molestation Allegations

By Pinky Khoabane

THE Sunday Independent’s Investigation’s Editor Piet Rampedi has filed notice of intention to defend in the matter relating to allegations that author Jacques Pauw molested children in Mozambique. Rampedi has appointed Mabuza as his attorneys of record. 

 

Rampedi will defend his claims, made in several tweets last month, in which he accused Pauw of racism, lying and challenged him to address allegations that he molested children in Mozambique while on an assignment in early 2000.

Pauw then sent Rampedi a lawyer’s letter giving him 24hours to apologise and remove the remarks or face “legal action”. Rampedi ignored the gagging order, forcing Pauw to issue summons, suing Rampedi for R500,000. https://wp.me/p7OMJc-3c4

“Rampedi’s recent tweets about me are untrue, defamatory, extremely hurtful and damages my reputation as a journalist,” Pauw said in a statement at the time. 

“I am not a liar, a racist or a paedophile. I have never touched any boys or any other children in Mozambique or any other place in the world. I am happily married and have been with my partner for 20 years.”

In an about turn however, Pauw said he would focus his legal case only on the molestation accusations even though he viewed the accusations of racism and lying as defamatory. 

Rampedi’s notice to defend the child molestation accusations comes in a week of heightened drama between Daily Maverick and the Independent Group. In the past two days, several Daily Maverick journalists including Marianne Thamm and Ferial Haffajee ganged up to intimidate a former contributor to the online publication, Modiba Modibe, into issuing an apology and retraction following his allegation that the Daily Maverick had offered him and several students money to write negative stories and tweets about several business and political leaders. They include Dr Iqbal Surve of the Independent Group and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leaders Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu. In response, Daily Maverick threatened to sue both Modibe and the Independent group. Instead of summons, Daily Maverick’s lawyers, the same law firm that represented News24 Editor Adriaan Basson against UnCensored, and Pauw against Rampedi, sent Modibe a letter in which they offered him an opportunity to retract and apologise or be sued. By Modibe’s version of events, he ignored them but DM’s journalists started intimidating him on Twitter alleging they could’t find him. 

Marianne Thamm: “if anyone is friends with @mmodiba10 pass this on…he is not answering his phone or replying to emails…maybe someone at @SekunjaloGroup can pass on

Modiba Modibe to Marianne Thamm: Oh Marianne you’re so desperate

Ferial Haffajee: Hi @mmodiba10 but we can’t find you or your lawyer. Can you maybe back up with evidence the alleged instructions, payments and details of

@dailymaverick drivers? For one, we have no cars and 2. I saw the communications, there are no instructions.
It’s another ongoing saga in which the media have become the story. In the meantime, there’s deafening silence from establishment media on Rampedi’s notice to challenge Pauw’s defamation lawsuit. 
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