Newzroom Afrika journalist detained during election coverage

Johannesburg – Newzroom Afrika journalist Ziniko Mhlaba has been released after being abruptly detained on the scene while covering the Local Government Elections at a voting station in Soweto.

During a live broadcast at a voting station in Orlando East, Soweto, a police officer stood between Mhlaba and the camera, blocking him from broadcasting.

During the incident, Mhlaba asked the officer to move out of his way.

She refused and told him: “You were distracting the presiding officer.”

Mhlaba was allegedly arrested for obstructing justice.

The journalist was handcuffed, put in a police van, and taken to a police station in Soweto.

Mhlaba was released by Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela, shortly after the arrest.

This is after South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) executive director Reggy Moalusi contacted the police and the Provincial Electoral Office in Gauteng to negotiate the release of the journalist.

SANEF project manager Hopewell Radebe spoke to Sunday World and advised that they will investigate the matter further.

“The general rule is that voters need to cast their votes and then they can be interviewed after voting outside the voting station,” Radebe explained further stating that they need to remind journalists of the rules for covering elections to avoid such incidents.

The Independent Electoral Commission has advised that they are still investigating and will be releasing a statement soon.

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Sunday World


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