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SANEF lambasts the continued imprisonment of freelance journalist, Thomo Nkgadima

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28 December 2023

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) has learned that Limpopo-based freelance journalist, Thomo Nkgadima, continues to languish in prison after being arrested for taking pictures of a mayor’s house.

Sunday World has informed SANEF that on 24 December, Nkgadima was arrested on charges of trespassing and intimidation after he took pictures of the house of Eddie Maila, the mayor of Fetakgomo Tubatse municipality in Burgersfort, Limpopo.

Nkgadima took pictures of the house from the outside, in Praktiseer, where there are alleged illegal electrical connections, and the mayor’s house is in the said area.

After spending Christmas in jail, Nkgadima appeared in court on 27 December, where he was denied bail, despite facing Schedule 1 charges. Nkgadima and Sunday World are in consultation with legal representatives, who will hopefully help with his release.

SANEF is disappointed that such charges were brought forward, against a journalist who was doing his job and never trespassed on Maila’s property, nor intimidated anyone.

Editors at Sunday World have informed SANEF that Maila has previously threatened Nkgadima because the latter sought to do his work as a journalist. This is a worrying development that SANEF has always condemned. Our democracy requires that journalists be allowed to do their work without any inhibitions.

SANEF hopes the court will make a sensible decision in offering Nkgadima a fair hearing and, when the time arrives, fully hear his side of the story.

Note to Editors:

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is a non-profit organisation whose members are editors, senior journalists, and journalism trainers from all areas of South African media. We are committed to championing South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression and promoting quality, ethics, and diversity in the South African media. We promote excellence in journalism through fighting for media freedom, writing policy submissions, research, and education and training programmes. SANEF is not a union.

For more information please contact:

Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Chairperson (073) 404-1415

Nwabisa Makunga – SANEF Deputy Chairperson (082) 555-1972

Qaanitah Hunter – SANEF Secretary-General

Tshamano Makhadi – Treasurer-General (082) 223 0621

Makhudu Sefara – SANEF Media Freedom Chair (079) 177-2134

Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334

Dr. Glenda Daniels – SANEF Gauteng Convenor (083) 229-9708

Rochelle De Kock – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (072) 969-8028

Reggy Moalusi – SANEF Executive Director (071) 682-3695

Twitter: @SAEditorsForum

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.sanef.org.za