FCA SA alarmed by arrest of journalist in South Africa

Released Friday, August 6, 2010

The Foreign Correspondents' Association is very alarmed at recent moves to curtail press freedom in South Africa and the arrest this week of an investigative journalist.

In our view, there appears to be a deliberate attempt by the governing party, through proposed legislation, to curb our profession's ability to hold the government to task.

A free and open press is one of the pillars of democracy and unfortunately there is little evidence of this on the African continent, other than in South Africa.

Any attempt by government to control, monitor or limit the ability of journalists to do their job threatens democracy.

The arrest this week of a journalist from the Sunday Times and the manner in which it was conducted is deeply worrying.

That a media house is forced to go to court to release a journalist being held without charges and no apparent case, is eerily reminiscent of what we have seen in Zimbabwe and other countries with a tradition of intimidating journalists.