Newzroom Afrika outraged after own journalist arrested amid election coverage

Ziniko Mhlaba was arrested live on air after he was accused by a police officer of distracting an IEC official.

A screenshot of Ziniko Mhlaba being detained by police at a voting station in Soweto. Picture: Newzroom Afrika/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Newzroom Afrika has expressed outrage after one of its journalists was detained by police while covering the local government elections earlier on Monday.

Ziniko Mhlaba was arrested live on air after he was accused by a police officer of distracting an IEC official.

News director at Newzroom Afrika Katy Katopodis said they had taken the matter up with the police and the IEC.

“For us, it’s an affront on media freedom, it’s an attack on media freedom. Journalism is not a crime. So it is something that we are taking exceptionally seriously.”

Meanwhile, IEC chair Glen Mashinini has described the incident as regrettable: “The electoral commission regrets the arrest of a Newzroom Afrika journalist at a voting station in Soweto. After intervention, the journalist has been released and an investigation into the circumstances of that arrest will be instituted.”

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