Sunday Times slams police

2010-08-05 17:12

Cape Town – In a statement published on TimesLive, The Sunday Times slammed the police for failing to release jailed journalist Mzilikazi Wa Afrika from custody, saying that they are "...guilty of detention without trial".

“The prosecuting authorities in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga have confirmed that they will not prosecute… due to lack of evidence,” said editor Ray Hartley.

“Yet the police are refusing to release him from custody in flagrant violation of the spirit of the law. This is nothing less than the detention without trial of a journalist.

“This confirms our worst suspicions that the heavy-handed operation against Mzilikazi was, from the outset, designed to intimidate him and the Sunday Times and had no serious legal purpose.”

Hartley said Mzilikazi’s legal representatives will seek an urgent interdict in the High Court in Nelspruit to have him released from jail.

Hartley also called on President Jacob Zuma, currently in Russia, to intervene in the matter and instruct police commissioner General Bheki Cele to call a halt to this campaign of intimidation.

“He must reassure the nation that it is not the intention of his government to use law enforcement agencies to launch an assault on the freedom of the press to operate,” said Hartley.