MISA-Zimbabwe Statement on the arrest of its Regional Chairperson (26-06-07)

MISA-Zimbabwe has learnt with great shock and dismay of the arrest of MISA Regional Chairperson and freelance journalist Thabo Thakalekola on charges of treason by the Lesotho Mounted Police Department.

Thakalekola, was arrested on 22 June 2007 by the Lesotho Mounted Pol

ice’s criminal investigation department soon after completing his morning Rise and Shine radio broadcast on Harvest FM radio.

Thakalekola’s arrest follows his reading on air of a letter which sought to persuade the Commissioner of Police to arrest the Prime Minister of Lesotho, his entire Cabinet and Principal Secretaries and the ruling elite accused of a string of corrupt practices. He had been given the letter by members of the Lesotho Defence Forces.

CID officials took Thakalekola into custody and demanded that he reveal the names of the people who gave him the letter. When MISA Lesotho visited him just after his arrest on 22 June 2007 he refused to disclose his sources “because I am not obliged to reveal my sources as a journalist.”

MISA-Zimbabwe commends and applauds the Regional Chairperson for refusing to be intimidated and sticking to the cardinal rules of the profession by declining to disclose the sources of the contents of the letter.

His professionalism should serve to inspire journalists throughout the southern African region who operate in similarly repressive environments on the need to respect and adhere to the ethics of the profession.


For any questions, queries or comments, please contact:

Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zimbabwe
84 McChlery Drive
P.O Box HR 8113
Tel/Fax: 263 4 776165 / 746838
Cell: 263 11 602 448 misa@misazim.co.zw

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