State abused power in Wa Afrika arrest - Pieter Mulder

FF+ leader says withdrawal of charges proof police acted over hastily


 "The inevitable deduction which can be made from the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to withdraw the charges against the journalist, Mzilikazi Wa Afrika, is that the actions of the NPA and Police were not motivated by pure jurisprudence principles and justice. The withdrawal of the criminal charges against Mzilikazi Wa Afrika is welcomed by the Freedom Front Plus. The party however expresses its disappointment with the actions of the National Prosecuting Authority and the Police. The fact that the charges against Wa Afrika have now been withdrawn proves that the NPA and the Police acted over hastily," Dr. Pieter Mulder, leader of the Freedom Front Plus and deputy minister of Agriculture said.

"The timing of the actions of the NPA leads one to draw the conclusion that the state had abused its instruments of power to intimidate a journalist who writes uncomfortable articles about the ANC. On which grounds is a journalist arrested and detained if there is so little of a case against him that the case is thrown out of court?" Mulder asked. The NPA should at the time already have accepted that new charges against Wa Afrika should not be brought until the Police and the NPA had sufficiently investigated the case.

"This incident of the abuse of power and the restricting of media freedom in South Africa has already harmed the good international image of South Africa following the World Cup Soccer Tournament. Because it all takes place within a debate about the possible introduction of a media tribunal, the damage is so much worse," according to Dr. Mulder.

Statement issued by Dr Pieter Mulder, FF Plus leader and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, September 8 2010

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