Members of the Rastafarian community took to the offices of the Sunday Times building in Parktown, Johannesburg to demand an apology for a news report which referred to a member of their community as a “dope smoking Rastafarian.”
Rastafarians say they are angry about the report having cast a negative light on their religious beliefs.
Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw recently released an article calling into question Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report finding that Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan had violated the Constitution through his involvement in the so-called “rogue unit” at Sars.
Pauw reported that one of Mkhwebane’s main sources was a former Sars employee who Mkhwebane presented as a “specialist agent” at Sars, but who told Pauw he knew nothing about the “rogue unit”.
The source, named as Keletso Bizoski Manyike, was described as an “unemployed, dope-smoking Rastafarian”.
“This inflammatory and damning statement is orchestrated and intended to cast and brand a bad image and standing of the latter of being a Rastafari specifically but also to equally cast such negative aspersions to every Rastafari religious and cultural community at large,” read the memorandum handed to a representative of the newspaper, Timeslive reports.
The reaction to the story on social media has seen some questioning whether this portrayal of Manyike was relevant or fair.
Manyike during an interview stated that he was considering legal action as the description had defamed his character, despite Pauw’s apology.
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)