Jacques Pauw due back in court in March over V&A Waterfront arrest
Cape Town - Investigative journalist and author of President's Keepers: Those keeping Zuma in power and out of prison, Jacques Pauw is expected in court next month of a charge of fraud after he made allegations about his arrest at a V&A Waterfront restaurant recently.
Pauw had issued a statement relating to an opinion piece he had written for the Daily Maverick, in which he detailed a “scathing account” of how he had been “pounced” on by police after eating at a restaurant on February 6, also alleging that officers had stolen R1 000 from him.
Pauw has since been given the boot by the publication after he had retracted his op-ed piece saying he was “drunk and his memory was blurred”.
The op-ed piece has also since been removed from the website and an apology has been issued by Daily Maverick editor, Branko Brkic.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Pauw's case has been postponed to March 31 for further investigation.
“The NPA can confirm Jacques Pauw appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court. He is charged with fraud, alternatively theft. His case has been postponed 31 March 2021 for further investigation,” Ntabazalila said.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed Pauw’s arrest on February 6.
“Please be advised that a case of theft was opened for investigation and a 61-year-old man was arrested on February 6 2021, he appeared in court on Monday, February 8,” Rwexana said.
V&A Waterfront spokesperson, Donald Kau, said the name of the restaurant at the centre of the incident is being withheld to prevent victimisation of its staff.
“We’re aware of the incident as reported by Pauw, the detail of which is contained in his latest statement on the matter. No restaurant patron at the Waterfront may leave without paying their bill under any circumstances, unless a prior arrangement has been made by a tour operator and there is a line of credit in place agreed to with the restaurant,” Kau said.
In his statement published on social media, Pauw said after reflection and evidence provided to him he “realised there were errors in the article”.
“I had too much to drink in the restaurant and my memory was blurred. The ordeal of the experience of the arrest and having to spend the night in jail compounded my emotional state. In the heat of the moment, I lost my cool and I acted in an impolite manner. My own action played a role in me getting arrested and detained,” an excerpt from Pauw’s statement read.
An editor’s note by Brkic read: “We continued with our fact-checking even after the opinion piece was published. We have now managed to obtain security footage of the incident. We are conducting our own investigation, and we will inform you of the results should they be different from the details in Pauw’s statement.”
The note is concluded confirming that Pauw would no longer be a contributor to their team.