Journalism groups condemn a reporter’s arrest, fearing a media clampdown in South Africa

By En, AP
Friday, August 6, 2010

Media clampdown fears in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG — Journalism groups say they are dismayed by the arrest of a South African reporter.

The South African National Editors Forum says the arrest violated media freedoms guaranteed in the nation’s constitution.

Mzilikazi wa Afrika, who wrote a series of articles for South Africa’s Sunday Times on alleged corruption by senior officials, was arrested and detained for 48 hours. A court freed Afrika on bail Friday after one charge of possessing a forged document was dropped.

The forum says such an arrest is rare since the end of the apartheid era in 1994.

The Foreign Correspondents Association condemned the arrest.

Police seized Afrika’s computer and mobile phone during investigations into alleged fraud and forgery. A top police official said Afrika was “a very shady journalist.”

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