PEN SA Africa Pulse #8

10 Mar 2017
PEN SA Africa Pulse #8

A Chad journalist was detained for four days and released without a charge

Daniel Ngadjadoum, a contributor to Chadian newspaper Tribune Info, has said that he was kept in detention for four days and released without charge over the publication of an article criticising the country’s president. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) media rights watchdog condemned the detention in a statement. The group said that Daniel had been taken into custody by the National Security Agency (ANS) counter-espionage force, which is linked directly to President Idriss Déby’s office.
News24, The Peninsula, Nigeria Sun

Gareth Cliff says that in hindsight he would not defend Penny Sparrow’s freedom of speech again

Gareth Cliff, CliffCentral founder, has said that in hindsight he would not defend Penny Sparrow’s right to freedom of speech. In the beginning of 2016, Sparrow, a real estate agent, posted a racist update on Facebook in which she called black people monkeys. Cliff was one of the people that defended Sparrow’s right to freedom of speech.

Pierre Nkurunziza, Burundian President, is sowing tension between the Burundian citizens and calls negative stories against him ‘fake news’

There is something brewing in Burundi and many fear that it is another civil war. The person fueling it, according to reports, is the Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza. Nkurunziza stands accused of inciting ethnic tensions while dismissing any negative stories on him as lies. According to Aline, a journalist working in Burundi, intimidation of the press is a professional operation. Aline claims that a member of the President’s communications team has been sending her WhatsApp messages telling her to stop writing and reporting.
The Guardian

South African Minister of State Security threatens to censor social media

David Mahlobo, Minister of State Security, made an alarming statement on the weekend. The minister claimed that social media could be regulated in the future to prevent the spread of fake news. Though experts claim that this is highly unlikely, it is nonetheless a worrying thought.
Daily Maverick

An editor and journalist arrested in Zimbabwe for undermining President Robert Mugabe

Wisdom Mudzungairi, editor of the privately-owned News Day and the paper’s senior reporter Richard Chidza have been arrested for running a story that undermined President Robert Mugabe. According to New Zimbabwe, the arrest follows the publication of a story that claimed Mugabe was “in fresh health scare”.
News24, New Zimbabwe, News Day

Journalists report harassment by the National Security Agency in Chad

A private media organization in Chad has claimed that the National Security Agency (ANS) is harassing and threatening journalists. In a press release dated March 2, 2017, the organisation expressed their concerns about the fate of the editors of Tribune Info, Eric Kokinangué, Mutations, Malabia Mbaïraga Djonbé, and Haut-Parleur, Mbaïrabé Stéphane Ouaye. The organisation also expressed concern about the arrest of a newspaper collaborator, Daniel Ngadjadoum.
VOA Afrique