Sunday Times journalist freed

2010-08-05 23:34

kalahari.com

  • Hawks
    An exciting look at the physical characteristics, behavior, habitat, and life cycle of various hawk... Now R508.00
    buy now

Pretoria - Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika will be released from detention ahead of his bail application in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Friday morning.

Handing down judgment in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria shortly before 22:00 on Thursday night, Judge Johan Kruger said it was not in the best interest of the rule of law, and it would be unlawful to detain Wa Afrika for one minute longer.

"The freedom of the individual is a constitutionally protected value and so is due process," Kruger said.

"In the constitutional state, the Constitution reigns supreme. I am of the view that justice will be served if he is released.

"It is unlikely that a few hours of freedom should cause irrevocable harm to the state's case. If we err, we err on the side of freedom."

The Sunday Times earlier filed an urgent interdict to have the journalist released, following his arrest outside the paper's office by members of the Hawks special police unit on Wednesday.

Wa Afrika's lawyer Arnold Meyer SC told the court there was no reason why he should be detained, even if his release was only for a few hours.

He argued there was no basis for the Hawks to contend that releasing him so soon before his bail application would be pointless.

However, presenting the Hawks's case, Salie Joubert said there was prima facie evidence that Wa Afrika should indeed face charges of defeating the ends of justice and fraud.

"There is no substance in the argument that he is being held unlawfully. If he is free today it will only be until 08:30 tomorrow morning."

'Ridiculous farce'

Speaking after the judgment, Sunday Times editor Ray Hartley said he was "extremely happy" Wa Afrika was going to be released from custody in Nelspruit.

"I am extremely happy... that this ridiculous farce is coming to and end. My advice to the Hawks would be, when you are in a hole, stop digging."

He described Kruger's order to release Wa Afrika as "very good".

The Hawks' argument that it was pointless to release him at the 11th hour was "quite frankly pathetic", he said.

"It is a total flagrant disregard for the rule of the Constitution."

Earlier on Thursday it was reported that the state prosecutor had dropped charges due to lack of evidence.

Hawks spokesperson Musa Zondi later said the charges against Wa Afrika had been restored.

Reports suggested the journalist's arrest could be related to his being in possession of a fraudulent resignation letter by Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza.

- SAPA

Read more on:    hawks  |  mzilikazi wa afrika  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.