DRC releases SABC staff

2013-05-06 09:31

Two SABC crew members who were arrested while trying to broadcast a soccer match in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been released and hope to return to South Africa today.

Two technical crew members were kicked out of the TP Mazembe Stadium in Lubumbashi minutes before the start of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League clash between Orlando Pirates and TP Mazembe yesterday afternoon, the SABC reported. A radio reporter’s cellphone SIM card was confiscated.

The crew members were arrested, but were later released and were escorted to their hotel. According to the national broadcaster, they hoped to leave today.

The matter had been taken up with the consul general in Lubumbashi, who would assist the SABC crew, international relations and cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyela was quoted as telling the SABC.

Even though Pirates lost 1-0 to TP Mazembe in the DRC, they went into the clash with a 3-1 lead from the first leg at Orlando Stadium two weeks ago and have made it through to the group stages of the CAF Champions League. The SABC broadcast the first leg of the match. It was reportedly agreed that it would also broadcast the DRC match, but this did not happen.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the issue would be discussed with the relevant authorities.

Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza voiced disappointment about what had happened and told the SABC he would raise the issue in two weeks’ time at a CAF meeting.

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