SANEF delighted at withdrawal of charges against Mzilikazi wa Afrika
The SA National Editors’ Forum welcomes the provisional withdrawal of charges of fraud and forgery and uttering against Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika by the National Prosecuting Authority on grounds that the police investigation does not disclose sufficient grounds for proceedings with the case.
The NPA has in fact requested the police to investigate the charges “fully” before a decision can be taken by the authority whether or not to prosecute.
That statement clearly indicates that in arresting wa Afrika in August they did not have sufficient information on their records to justify such action and indeed it could be alleged that they acted illegally in arresting him and detaining him for two nights in police cells.
Sanef is also concerned over the accusations made against wa Afrika by the Police Minister in parliament which, it is now clear, was based on false information supplied to him by the police.
Sanef is deeply disturbed by these disclosures. The treatment meted out to Wa Afrika follows several complaints Sanef has made to the Minister of Police and the National Commissioner of Police as well as senior police officers over the arrest of journalists at crime scenes on trumped up charges which have been promptly thrown out of court by the prosecutors.
Sanef calls for a full investigation by the Independent Complaints Directorate into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of wa Afrika.
Issued by: SA National Editors’ Forum (SANEF)