Global press freedom organisation, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), has taken issue with the action of an investigator from the Zondo commission trying to arm-twist a journalist to give it notes and voice recording of a story that could help in their own investigation.
CPJ’s Africa programme coordinator, Angela Quintal, slammed the actions of the commission’s investigator Frank Dutton, who was trying to force Independent Media’s political journalist Bongani Hans, to reveal confidential information about an interview he had in August with retired ANC politician, Meshack Radebe.
She added that reporters are ethically bound to protect sources to the extent that they would be prepared to go to jail rather than expose them.
Responding to the bizarre conduct, Quintal said dating back to President Nelson Mandela's administration, there is an understanding reached between Sanef (SA National Editors Forum) and the then Justice Minister Dullah Omar, that despite S205 of the Criminal Procedure Act still being in force, it will not be used against journalists.
“This thankfully has not been par for the course in a democratic South Africa and one would hope that the Zondo Commission will understand what it would mean for such an important body to be linked to the tactics used under apartheid.