Sunday Times explains Noah story

2015-05-31 10:16
Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah

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Johannesburg - The Sunday Times has suggested a previous story about a murder, reportedly in the family of comedian Trevor Noah, should not have been published in the "condition" it was in, at the time.

"On reflection, should this story have been offered to Sunday Times readers in the condition that it was? No. Was it sufficiently weighty to be offered as the main story on our front page? No,” said editor Phylicia Oppelt in an article published on Sunday.

Last week, the newspaper published a story in which it claimed a female cousin of Noah’s had been murdered in Kwazulu-Natal and was being buried last weekend.

On Sunday, Oppelt claimed that while the “reporters were not at fault”, a key source had apparently backtracked on confirming a previous connection between a murder victim and the Noah family.

She explained that they were writing a profile on Noah who had quickly risen to international fame, and, following on from information provided by Noah’s grandmother, Nomalizo Noah, the newspaper began to investigate an apparent murder of a female relative.

Last week, Dumisani Khoza, the father of a woman, Cebisile Happiness Khoza, who was found murdered in a sugar cane field earlier this month, confirmed to reporters that Noah and his daughters were "cousins", said Oppelt.

She said, however, that this week he "flat-out denied telling our reporters they were related".

Oppelt said that separately, this week, they had uncovered a separate story of "indeed a Noah relative who was brutally slain in Kwazulu-Natal".

Gugulethu Gwamanda was allegedly killed by an ex-lover and her body left on a deserted road near Baynesfield.

Oppelt said was Nomalizo Noah was apparently the aunt of Gwamanda and that Gwamanda’s sister had also "confirmed this week that they were indeed related to the Noah family".

Shortly after last week’s story was published, Noah sent out a tweet: "Thanks to some crafty journalism my family and I have spent the whole day trying to figure out which one of us died #awkward".

"I deeply regret any hurt caused to the Noah and Khoza families," said Oppelt on Sunday.

Read more on:    sunday times  |  trevor noah

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