Confusion over Mandela media spy report

2012-01-13 22:30
Johannesburg - There was confusion on Friday about the state of completion of a police probe into allegations that two international news agencies spied on former president Nelson Mandela.

While Eastern Cape police said the completed docket had been handed over to prosecutors, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) denied receiving it and national police said they understood the probe was still underway.

"I spoke to one of the investigators and he said the docket was completed and was handed in. We do not have it anymore," Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said.

Docket sent to DPP in Mthatha

The docket apparently contains evidence against British news agency Reuters and United States-based The Associated Press (AP).

Fatyela said it had been submitted to the director of public prosecutions in Mthatha.

However, NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the Mthatha director of public prosecutions had not yet received the docket.

"We made an enquiry with the director, and no such docket has been handed in," he said.

National police spokesperson Colonel Vishnu Naidoo also denied that the investigation was complete.

"I don't know where this information is coming from, but as far as I know the investigation is still on-going," he said.

Facing criminal charges

In December, The Times reported that Reuters and AP had installed at least three closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at Chieftainess Nokwanele Balizulu's home, providing a direct view of the entrance to Mandela's house in Qunu.

The newspaper reported that it had since been told by an investigator that the docket included photographs and statements of Mandela family members and the company which installed the cameras.

At the time of the initial report, Naidoo told news agency Agence France-Presse that Reuters and AP faced criminal charges for allegedly contravening the National Key Points Act.

"All presidents' residences are declared national key points. No person is allowed to film a part of or whole national key point," he said.

National key points are areas considered sensitive to the country's national security.
Read more on:    npa  |  nelson mandela  |  east london

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