Press freedom in spotlight after journalists detained
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.