News24

Times, Hawks negotiating deal

2010-08-05 21:18

Johannesburg - Lawyers for the Hawks, Sunday Times newspaper and the prosecution were in negotiations on Thursday evening as to whether to release journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika.

Before court convened legal representatives were milling around the foyer of the Palace of Justice in Pretoria.

"We are here to get Wa Afrika released as an interim relief," the newspaper's legal counsel, Arno Meyer said.

It was not known when proceedings would get under way.

Wa Afrika was arrested outside the Sunday Times office on Wednesday by members of the Hawks special police unit. He was the author of a report critical of national police chief General Bheki Cele which was published on Sunday.

At a briefing convened to clarify the "incorrect and worse, misleading" article, Cele told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday he did not sign a R500m lease agreement for an 18-storey building in the capital city, but only a "needs assessment".

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.