Investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw released a statement on Tuesday to correct a number of errors that were made in a column he published in the Daily Maverick

According to the publication’s editor, attempts were made to contact the restaurant involved in the incident as well as requests to see CCTV footage, but both were turned down.

While they did obtain comment from SAPS and the Waterfront, they chose to go ahead with the publication of the column.

In it, Pauw details his arrest after a meal at a restaurant. “We took these steps because Pauw’s column made serious allegations around his arrest, including that the police had stolen cash he had on him and that the restaurant had refused any alternative efforts to settle the bill. We informed the restaurant that we would be publishing Pauw’s column and it was in their interests to give their version of events,” said the editor.

“Once published, we continued our investigation and obtained the CCTV footage.”

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Pauw spent the night in prison and was released the following day.


On Tuesday, a statement was issued correcting a number of mistakes in the column.

The statement was penned after Pauw met with the restaurant and V&A Waterfront management on Monday.

“I wish to correct the mistakes I made in a Daily Maverick column,” wrote Pauw.

“I also need to apologise for my actions when I was arrested at the V&A Waterfront on 6 February 2021. I was detained overnight and released at noon the following day on a warning.

“On Monday, 8 February 2021, I appeared in the Cape Town magistrate’s court on a charge of theft. I denied this charge at the time, and still do. I maintain that my arrest and detention was unlawful.

“I wrote the column because I was emotional, angry, and humiliated by the entire experience.

“Upon reflection and additional evidence provided to me, I have realised that there are errors in the column.”

Pauw admitted that he had been drinking

He admitted that his memory had been blurred. His experience in the jail cell had ‘compounded his emotional state.’

“I had a meeting with the restaurant owner and a conversation with a V&A executive this Monday. They showed and explained certain facts to me. I misbehaved and I wish to apologise for my behaviour.”

“The column in the Daily Maverick created the impression that either the restaurant management, or the waiter that served me, or the V&A Waterfront made a call to the police to have me arrested. It turns out this did not happen. Neither the restaurant nor the Waterfront made any such calls and played no role in my arrest.”

“The three policemen who arrested me were already at, or near, the venue after attending to an unrelated incident.

“They enquired what was going on. In the heat of the moment, I lost my cool and I acted in an impolite manner. My own action played a role in getting me arrested and detained.

“I apologise to the restaurant, the V&A Waterfront and the police.”