Media Statement

19 November 2018

DIRCO notes media reports on the journalists detained in Tanzania

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has noted recent media articles relating to the release of former editor of the Mail & 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 Minister has noted Ms Quintal's version of events and again invites her to submit all necessary documentation to enable our High Commission to further engage the Tanzanian authorities.

At no stage did the Minister 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 calls 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 South African Government is committed to media freedom and also respects the laws of all countries we have bilateral relations with.

The Minister further calls 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.

Enquiries: Ndivhuwo Mabaya, 083 645 7838, MabayaN@dirco.gov.za

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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