DIRCO notes media reports on the journalists detained in Tanzania

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PRETORIA, South Africa

 

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has noted recent media articles relating to the release of former editor of the Mail and Guardian newspaper, Ms Angela Quintal, and her Kenyan colleague, Ms Muthoki Mumo, from their detention in Tanzania, following what the local authorities call an “immigration violation.”

Minister Sisulu thanked the Tanzanian authorities for adhering to the requests made by the South African High Commissioner in Dar es Salaam, H.E. Thami Mseleku, for the two to be released, for their passports to be returned and for them to be allowed to travel back to their respective homes.

The Minister extended her appreciation to the Tanzanian Government for their assistance.

“The South African Government is committed to media freedom and also respects the laws of all countries we have bilateral relations with.” She said

She invited Ms Quintal to give her version of events and also to submit all necessary documentation to enable the High Commission to further engage the Tanzanian authorities.

The commission noted that , Minister had at no stage put the interest of the Tanzanian Government ahead of the journalists, but worked tirelessly throughout the night to secure their safe release after a personal appeal from Ms Quintal’s husband and her media colleagues.

The Minister called on those who keep perpetuating the lie that the Minister put the Tanzanian Government’s interest ahead of a South African citizen to stop and to listen to her remarks made at the media briefing of 12 November 2018 on this matter.

The Minister stated that the Tanzanian authorities informed her, through the High Commissioner, of their reasons for detaining the two journalists, and their main reason was “immigration violation.”

The Minister further called on all those traveling out of the country to understand the immigration rules and laws of the country they seek to visit in order to avoid being on the wrong side of the law.