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Apologie en regstelling
Apologie en regstelling

In 'n berig, "Moordsake sloer in streekhof" (Paarl Post, 14 Desember), het ons versuim om die kommentaar van mnr William Booth wat die onderwerp van die berig was, te kry. Paarl Post vra hiermee om verskoning vir die oorsig en skade wat moontlik aan mnr Booth gedoen is. Ons publiseer graag sy kommentaar en verduideliking oor die bewerings teen hom hieronder:

I firstly wish to record that prior to the publication of this article that I was never contacted at all by your journalist for my comment pertaining to the history of the two cases that are mentioned in the article. 

The article clearly does not objectively deal with what has in fact taken place in both the cases of Mr Thompson and Mr Du Toit. I will be dealing in more detail with this article at a later time if necessary. However, at this stage I wish to point out that certain aspects in my view, point to an uninformed and biased journalist who should first before writing any article, speak to the people that she is referring to and making derogatory comments about. I do not know what experience Ms Scott has but clearly from the way the article is written and its lack of objectivity, she could not have received the proper and correct journalistic training.

Could you please provide me with the factual information upon which the following comment is made, “Booth word dikwels deur regslui daarvan beskuldig dat hy gereeld vertragingstaktiek gebruik in sake waarby hy betrokke is”? This comment is untruthful, derogatory, and defamatory.

Furthermore, the article makes reference to an incident that took place on the 2nd October 2018, it was not properly reported upon. I had objected to the Magistrate proceeding with the case as she was biased and had made derogatory comments about me. The article did not deal with my full objection in Court against the Magistrate. When a journalist comments about Court proceedings a journalist must do so by providing what is said in full not just parts of what is said.  In fact, I have reported the Magistrate’s conduct to the President of the Regional Court in the Western Cape.

Reference is also made to a legal expert. Interestingly, this “expert” refuses to disclose his identity. How can you quote somebody and present that persons comments as being these of an expert and supposedly true when that person is not prepared to give his name. I have never in my life heard of a legal expert who makes comments on legal aspects to the media who wants his identity protected, “sy identiteit beskerm word”. Again, from whom does he need to be “protected”? Was this aspect fully investigated by the journalist? 

To not reveal the identity of the expert and then to quote him saying, “agt jaar vir ‘n moordsaak is absurd” without establishing from this person if he has factual knowledge of the full history of these cases is with respect, ludicrous.

For the record in Mr Du Toit’s case, the State requested postponements time and again for more than approximately 2 years to obtain the evidence of a second pathologist when in the end they were never able to do so. Furthermore, when Mr Du Toit’s case was heard recently it was set down for the 19th and 20th November 2018, on the first day the case started after 12pm as the Court was busy with other matters. On the second day the case did not start at all as there was a power failure in Paarl. Why was this not reported? Your reference to, “versteekte agendas” is also defamatory and false. Again, what factual basis is there for such a comment?

Why were the correct facts not stated in the article, but that I used “gereeld vertragingingstaktiek”. This comment in particular is defamatory. Where does the journalist get this nonsense from? What investigation did she do and more importantly, why did she not contact me first before defaming me?

I have been a criminal defence practitioner for many years. I am the chairperson of the Criminal Law Committee of the Cape Law Society and of the Law Society of South Africa. I have been a councillor at the Cape Law Society as well as at the Law Society of South Africa for many years.

I am quoted in the press and appear on radio and television nationally and internationally as a legal expert (I am always prepared to give my name).

The aforesaid article smacks of no more than an attack on my integrity and my good name and is a disgrace to journalism.

If you do not rectify the inaccuracies in this report immediately, I will be referring this matter to the Press Ombudsman and considering taking legal action against your newspaper and/or your journalist in her personal capacity for incorrect and defamatory reporting. 


Meer oor:  Johan Du Toit  |  William Booth
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