Investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw confirmed on Thursday afternoon that he was suing Independent Media journalist Piet Rampedi for R500,000 after Rampedi called him a child molester.
Pauw last month demanded that Rampedi withdraw the alleged defamation within 24 hours, which he failed to do.
My lawyers just issued summons against journalist Piet Rampedi for calling me a child molester. I am suing him for R500,000 for defamation. His attorney has confirmed receipt of summons. Attached my statement. I said earlier he tweeted in 2010 – should have been 2020. pic.twitter.com/WcQwF41usi
— Jacques Pauw (@Jaqqs) March 5, 2020
Lawyers representing journalist Piet Rampedi this week said their client had not apologised nor retracted the statements he made on social media.
“We made no apology or retraction. Twenty-four hours have long passed and still no court action by Mr Pauw,” attorney Eric Mabuza told News24 on Monday.
Pauw’s lawyer, Willem de Klerk, had demanded in February that Rampedi immediately remove the offending “false and defamatory” statements from all platforms where it was originally published, as well as publish an unconditional retraction and apology within 24 hours.
— Mr Putin (@pietrampedi) March 5, 2020
It all began when Daily Maverick published an article by Pauw titled “Malema and Rampedi spin outlandish new ‘rogue unit’ narrative” on 18 February 2020.
Rampedi quickly responded by calling Pauw a “liar” and “molester” on Twitter. He also alleged that Pauw lied in his 2017 book that the Guptas had bankrolled Rampedi’s newspaper.
Rampedi last month said he would never be intimidated by Pauw. “I’m consulting a lawyer with a view to defending the matter in court.”
Rampedi, who also goes by the moniker “Mr Putin” on Twitter, was named as the assistant editor of Sunday Independent last November. He previously worked as an investigative journalist at the Sunday Times.
In the tweets, he also called Daily Maverick editor-in-chief Branco Brcik a “modern-day Joseph Goebbels” for being part of an apparent propaganda campaign. Goebbels was the minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany.
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers. Background reporting, News24 Wire)