Cops 'bugged' journalist's phone

2010-12-19 12:01

Johannesburg - The Sunday Independent newspaper this week will request the Inspector General of Intelligence to investigate claims that police officers from the Crime Intelligence unit harassed one if its journalists, it said on Sunday.

The officers allegedly bugged Gcwalisile Khanyile's phone and tried to coerce another journalist - who was not named - from the Star newspaper into revealing "internal confidential" information.

This came after the newspaper did an expose in October which detailed allegations of nepotism, corruption, fraud and mismanagement at the division.

Police had obtained a court order from the High Court in Johannesburg halting further revelations. However, the Sunday Independent was appealing the judgment, it said.

The newspaper's lawyer said: "Shortly after the high court granted the interdict, Khanyile became aware that she had been placed under surveillance by the SAPS Crime Intelligence. She discovered that agents had been assigned to follow her and that her cellphone had been tapped."

The Sunday Independent's editor Makhudu Sefara said the newspaper had information showing that Khanyile "was, and probably still is, being followed".

"We have information showing that operatives have been instructed to befriend our reporters with a view to infiltrating our - and other -newsrooms across the country," he said.

Police spokesperson Colonel Tummi Shai said the police would not comment on the matter.

  • Valkerie - 2010-12-19 12:07

    Unbelievable! Are we heading for a police state? Could it be that these journo's came too close to the truth and some high up official used his/her discretionary powers to order the taps? This is so straight out of a Hollywood conspiracy movie that I'm battling to believe it!

      Valis - 2010-12-19 12:53

      We're already there...

      Oompie - 2010-12-19 21:26

      Like Valis said, we're already there, and have been there. Remember Mr Horak, a journalist (at I think the Sunday Times) that was actually an agent working for the security forces during the 80's?

      Mad Hatter - 2010-12-20 10:34

      Truth is stranger than fiction

      Valkerie - 2010-12-20 11:39

      @ Oompie - before my time I'm afraid...

  • OMBUD - 2010-12-19 13:16

    This is a most dangerous development in South African democracy. The government must realize and recognise that there is a certain difference between reporting on police force administration and police force operations. This story investigated policeforce administration and it is therefore absolutely important that readers be informed if there are any shenanigans going on. Such an expose will in no way compromise general police work for securing the safety of South Africa and her visitors. However, applying the services of the Crime Intellince Unit to investigate a reporter doing her simple duty is an abuse of state resources, a real travesty and a definite challenge to freedom of speech and democracy in our beloved country. We should fight this development tooth and nail for the good of the government and the citizenry in South Africa.

      G.du Plessis - 2010-12-19 15:52

      This sort of thing happens all the time in UK and US. Name a perfect democracy...?

      Rev. H-Cubed - 2010-12-19 16:27

      We need to oppose this sort of nonsense as vigorously as we opposed it when the Nats did it. @G.du Plessis - the absence of any perfect democracy should not deter us from striving to achieve one, in fact, it should spur us to greater effort.

      Ingwe - 2010-12-19 18:35

      Hi G du Plessis I am sure it happens in Russia and China as well but does that make it ok?

  • Ldn Saffa - 2010-12-19 19:35

    Mad Bob has been doing this for years in Zimbabwe, it was only a matter of time before it came to the republic of " Zumababwe " or " Azania " as some comrades would prefer to call it. In the beginning they all try hard to hide it but when they get away with it for such a long time they eventually just start doing what they want anyway. Gcwalisile is probably lucky she hasn't been tortured 'YET'

  • Macho Mike - 2010-12-19 22:35

    So the phones were bugged by the Bugs were they?

  • Kevin Rack - 2010-12-20 04:57

    Ephraim, Ephraim where are you and your silly cadre comments. The ANC look and smell like the aparthied government more and more except they could not organise themsleves. Democracy, human rights, the poor blah, blah blah...all just talk and not action. The Hyena Clan strikes again.

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