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SANEF condemns alleged death threat against reporter in Grahamstown

Boma is also alleged to have issued what is interpreted as a death threat against Diko. She said that when she inquired of Boma where the money would be found for the package, he told her, “Awuwile, you must stop digging.  People who continue to dig don’t last forever. You will hear people saying that you were wearing a black jacket and you were going there to dig.’’ The conversation was in Xhosa and his words are interpreted by Diko as a death threat. She has reported the matter to the police.

Sanef is alarmed at the refusal by Boma to supply information of public importance when asked to provide it and even more so at the allegation that he threatened the reporter with violence. His conduct is another example of the ever-increasing trend by government and civic officials to attempt to censor or maintain secrecy over information that should be in the public domain. Attempts to stifle the public’s right to know are unacceptable and subvert the country’s constitutional values. Sanef calls on the authorities in the Makana Municipality to take action against Boma for failing in his role as a spokesperson and to institute an immediate investigation into the alleged threat against the reporter and act appropriately in accordance with the outcome.

The issue of violence against journalists is becoming a matter of serious concern to SANEF especially in view of the arson attack on Karabo FM radio station in Sasolburg on Saturday September 7 which resulted in the radio station and the building it was housed in being totally destroyed. The studio staff and guests were held up at gun point though no one was injured.

17 September 2013