Sunday Times journalist freed

2010-08-05 23:34

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
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

13 summer safety tips

Summer time and the burning is easy. Get some great tips to ensure sunburn doesn't spoil your holiday!

 
 

I love summer.24

This sleeping bulldog is you during the holidays
This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!
LOL! Cats destroying Christmas trees
Great tips for surviving the holidays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Short term gratification seems like fun at the time; just remember that your boundaries are down right now and there s a tendency...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.