Press free­dom in spot­light af­ter jour­nal­ists de­tained

Daily News - - METRO - TEBOGO MONAMA tebogo.monama@inl.co.za An­gela Quin­tal

ME­DIA prac­ti­tion­ers have slammed the de­ten­tion of two jour­nal­ists in Tan­za­nia in what is seen as an at­tack on press free­dom in that coun­try.

The African Ed­i­tors’ Fo­rum (TAEF) has called out the East African na­tion for the abuse of me­dia rights.

South African An­gela Quin­tal and her Kenyan col­league, Muthoki Mumo, were de­tained in Tan­za­nia while in the coun­try on work for NPO, the Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists (CPJ).

Quin­tal is the for­mer ed­i­tor of The Mer­cury and Africa pro­gramme co-or­di­na­tor at the CPJ in the US. The two were ar­rested and de­tained for more than five hours.

“Me­dia free­dom is a ba­sic hu­man right as well as an in­dis­pens­able con­stituent of democ­racy in ev­ery African coun­try,” said the fo­rum’s chair­per­son Jovial Ran­tao.

“Na­tions of Africa need a free me­dia so that it can pro­vide them with in­for­ma­tion that would en­able them to take an in­formed de­ci­sion about their lives.

“Gov­ern­ments across the con­ti­nent who have pledged to up­hold free­dom of the me­dia must walk the talk and stop ha­rass­ing and de­tain­ing jour­nal­ists and ed­i­tors for do­ing their work.”

The South African Na­tional Ed­i­tors’ Fo­rum (Sanef) said it was deeply dis­turbed to hear about Quin­tal and Mumo’s de­ten­tion. Quin­tal is a for­mer se­nior ex­ec­u­tive of the fo­rum.

“Sanef be­lieves th­ese are very wor­ry­ing de­vel­op­ments. We need to ur­gently find out the rea­sons be­hind this de­ten­tion. We be­lieve the ar­bi­trary de­ten­tion of jour­nal­ists is a di­rect and dan­ger­ous threat to me­dia free­dom,” the or­gan­i­sa­tion said.

The High Com­mis­sioner of South Africa in Tan­za­nia, Thami Mse­leku, said the re­porters were re­leased af­ter meet­ings with Tan­za­nian au­thor­i­ties.

THE third sus­pect in the as­sas­si­na­tion of crim­i­nal de­fence lawyer Pete Mi­ha­lik made a brief ap­pear­ance in Cape Town Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day.Vuy­ile Mal­iti, 35, joined Sizwe Biyela, 26, and Nkosi­nathi Khu­malo, 31, in the dock where they faced charges of mur­der, at­tempted mur­der and the un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm and am­mu­ni­tion.Mal­iti was ar­rested on Wed­nes­day, af­ter he gave him­self up.

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