WATCH: Rhino horn smuggler calls David Mahlobo his friend

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Minister of Intelligence David Mahlobo seen here with beauty therapist Wei Chelsea at the Mpumalanga spa owned by self-proclaimed rhino horn smuggler Guan Jiang Guang.
Minister of Intelligence David Mahlobo seen here with beauty therapist Wei Chelsea at the Mpumalanga spa owned by self-proclaimed rhino horn smuggler Guan Jiang Guang.
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Rhino horn smuggler Guan Jiang Guang appears in an Al Jazeera documentary calling Intelligence Minister David Mahlobo his friend.

The Poachers Pipeline aired on 13 November and is available on Al Jazeera's site here. In the investigation the documentary implicates Malhobo's wife in "doing business" with Guang.

Mahlobo himself issued a statement following the documentary's release denying a friendship with Guang (pictured above).

The Minister further insisted he was being unfairly associated with the self-confessed Chinese criminal when he was merely visiting an Mbombela spa owned by Guang.

Mahlobo deemed Al Jazeera Investigations' report gutter journalism (see his remarks here).

However a senior member of Al Jazeera's team, reporter Deborah Davies, stands by the documentary and its content.

Speaking to News24's Erin Bates on Tuesday, 15 November she said Mhlobo was given an opportunity to respond before the documentary's release.

Furthermore Davies argued Mhlobo's proximity to Guang was in the public interest, considering the Minister's station in Public Office.

Davies added Al Jazeera Investigations followed strict legal and fact-checking protocols they follow before publishing a story.

Watch.

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