Sanef condemns threats on reporter's life

2013-09-17 19:37

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Johannesburg - The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) on Tuesday condemned the actions of a municipal spokesperson who allegedly threatened a reporter seeking information in Grahamstown.

"Sanef condemns the efforts of Makana municipality spokesperson Mncedisi Boma to prevent Grocott's Mail municipal affairs reporter Awuwile Diko, from gathering information about a financial package that the Makana municipality is considering offering the municipal manager.

"Boma is also alleged to have issued what is interpreted as a death threat against Diko," Sanef said in a statement.

Diko said when she asked Boma where the money would be found for the package, he told her: "Awuwile, you must stop digging. People who continue to dig don't last forever. You will hear people saying that you were wearing a black jacket and you were going there to dig."

Sanef said the conversation was in Xhosa and his words were interpreted by Diko as a death threat. She reported the matter to police.

Sanef said attempts to "stifle the public's right to know" were unacceptable and subverted the country's constitutional values.

Sanef was alarmed by Boma's refusal to supply information of public importance when asked for it.

"His conduct is another example of the ever-increasing trend by government and civic officials to attempt to censor or maintain secrecy over information that should be in the public domain."

Sanef called on the municipal authorities to act against Boma for failing in his role as spokesperson and to investigate the alleged threat against the reporter.

Violence against journalists was becoming a matter of serious concern after the arson attack on Sasolburg radio station Karabo FM.

On 7 September, two masked men stormed into the building at 21:00 and ordered a radio presenter, two studio guests, and a female security guard out of the building.

They poured petrol in and around the station and set it on fire.

Read more on:    sanef  |  port elizabeth  |  media

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