Journalist Marianne Thamm

Cape Town - The Hawks are reportedly trying to force Marianne Thamm to reveal the identity of the source she used to for a story about a top KZN cop being promoted despite being implicated at the state capture inquiry.

"Sanef understands that the Hawks are attempting, via South African Police Service (SAPS) in KwaZulu-Natal, to force Daily Maverick journalist Marianne Thamm to reveal her sources," the South African National Editors’ Forum said on Friday. 

In her article, which was published on June 18, Thamm wrote that Colonel WS "Welcome" Mhlongo from the KwaZulu-Natal Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, who has been implicated in Zondo Commission testimony for allegedly tipping off criminals about the directorate’s investigations, had been appointed acting Provincial Commander of the Serious Organised Crime unit in the province. 

According to Sanef, Mhlongo laid charges against Thamm at the Durban Central police station after the article's publication and she was subsequently contacted by an investigating officer who wanted her to reveal her sources.

The Hawks are now investigating the alleged theft of documents and the disclosure of information which according to police was exclusively  meant for use by SAPS, said Sanef.

Sanef said a number of incidents have taken place at a time when the forum was trying to schedule a meeting to discuss crucial aspects of engagement between the media and the country’s law enforcement agencies.

The organisation also expressed its concerns regarding a visit to the Daily Maverick offices in Johannesburg this week by a police officer. They said the lieutenant asked about the whereabouts of a journalist, Aidan Lee Jones. 

“The officer refused to reveal the reasons for the visit to Managing Editor Jillian Green, saying he would come back if he didn’t come right elsewhere,” said SANEF. 

In another incident, police were investigating charges laid by Durban businessman Roy Moodley against journalists, Aidan Jones from GroundUp and Trevor Stevens, who works for the Citizen 

“Jones wrote an article for GroundUp exposing alleged corruption involving Moodley in relation to the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (PRASA). The article was republished in The Citizen and Daily Maverick,” said the statement. 

SANEF said the police want to take warning statements from Stevens and Jones concerning the source of the story. 

African News Agency (ANA)