UPDATE: Mzilikazi wa Afrika, Stephan Hofstatter part ways with Sunday Times

News24 has reliably learnt that Mzilikazi wa Afrika and Stephan Hofstatter have parted ways with Tiso Blackstar.

The Sunday Times earlier confirmed to News24 that the two senior reporters were "not fired", without divulging further details.

"They haven't been fired… Beyond that I am not prepared to comment on any contractual relationships with them," Sunday Times' Legal Editor Susan Smuts told News24.

When contacted Hofstatter referred queries to Tiso Blackstar; while Wa Afrika did not respond to attempts to get comment from him.

Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko also declined to comment, saying he "cannot discuss employees in the media".

READ: Sunday Times to return awards, prize money for discredited reports

Both reporters were investigative journalists involved in articles published in 2011, about a Cato Manor police unit dubbed as a 'death squad', a Sars 'rogue unit' and Zimbabwean 'renditions'.

The articles have since been discredited.

On Sunday, Siqoko announced in a piece published in the newspaper, that it apologised for the articles.

He also said that the newspaper would return all awards and prize money received for the reports.

Siqoko said that the newspaper accepted that "there was clearly a parallel political project aimed at undermining our democratic values and destroying state institutions and removing individuals who were seen as obstacles to this project…".

"We admit that our stories may have been used for this purpose," he added.

We got it wrong, and for that we apologise

We have spent the past few weeks reflecting on our reporting of allegations of police killings in Cato Manor in KwaZulu-Natal and the illegal deportation of Zimbabweans to face execution in their country - known as renditions. These stories were written by a team of senior journalists and published in this newspaper in 2011.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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