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'Sunday Times': Political agenda behind death squad stories led to apology

The paper ran the 'tainted' scoops in 2011, which have turned out to be largely false.

Copies of the 'Sunday Times' newspaper. Picture: @SiqokoST/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Sunday Times says it took the decision to apologise for it's so-called Cato Manor death squad series because there was a hidden hand, political agenda and manipulation behind the stories.

The paper ran the 'tainted' scoops in 2011, which have turned out to be largely false.

Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko on Sunday said the paper would return awards and prize money received for the reports.

Deputy managing director at Tiso Blackstar's media division, Moshoeshoe Monare: "And we should, as the paper, have joined the dots and disclosed, at least to the readers, that there was a hidden hand using and abusing some of our stories to carry out that political agenda."

Two of the journalists responsible for that series, Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilakazi wa Afrika, have parted ways with the title.

LISTEN: Bongani Bingwa speaks to former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen and former Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela on the Sunday Times series