The Rastafari United Front has announced a decision to picket at the Sunday Times HQ tomorrow following what they call the “Offense (sic), discrimination and defamation of the character of Ras JahRa and an insult to the Rastafari community” that was done by the “character assassination of Ras Keletso Bizoski JahRa Manyike”.
This comes after Sunday Times journalist Jacques Pauw portrayed ex-Sars employee Keletso Manyike as an “unemployed, dope-smoking Rastafarian” in his description of the sources of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s recent report accusing Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan of violating the constitution through his involvement in the so-called “rogue unit” at Sars.
Pauw has subsequently apologized for the description on air after Eusebius McKaiser on 702 accused Pauw of “sensationalism and tabloidisation”.
“I apologise if I caused any hurt or discomfort,” Pauw said after McKaiser confronted him on this issue, asking why it was “relevant that the guy smoked marijuana and is a member of the Rastafari community and unemployed?”
“I should have told the Sunday Times to cut that [part of the report] out,” Pauw conceded.
The Rastafari United Front have additionally promised “national protest marches and other forms of action” to protest what they say is a “continuous expression of disgust” aimed at highlighting “the plight of the Rastafari in post-Apartheid South Africa”.
On their Facebook page, the RasTafari United Front states that it is an “NPO established during the RasTafari National Summit at Wits University 2014 to rally and unite RasTafari Family in Azania”. The organization states that it has also reported the issue to the “CRL Rights Commission, Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector”.