Dirco confirms release of former M&G editor, colleague

9:21 am
 Crucial Help
A Kenyan Journalist Muthoki Mumo and South African counterpart Angela Quintal Twitter

9:21 am Crucial Help A Kenyan Journalist Muthoki Mumo and South African counterpart Angela Quintal Twitter

There were concerns after it emerged that South African journalist Angela Quintal, Africa programme coordinator for press freedom group the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and her Kenyan colleague Muthoki Mumo had been detained by authorities on Wednesday evening without explanation.

"Sanef also welcomes the speedy probe into the matter by the Department of International Relations (Dirco) and calls on Dirco to exert pressure on their Tanzanian counterparts".

South Africa's high commissioner in Tanzania was due to meet with Tanzanian authorities on Thursday. He will then engage Tanzanian authorities. "DIRCO spokesperson, Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spoke to Ms Quintal this morning", the SA Foreign ministry tweeted on Thursday. He told SAFM on Thursday morning that the South African High Commissioner had spoken to Quintal and her colleague who had been returned to their hotel rooms.

A South African news site, News24, reported that a tweet had been sent from Ms Quintal's account appearing to allay fears by confirming that she and Ms Mumo had been released but her family claimed that someone else may have been in possession of her phone. We don't know why.

"We believe that the detention of journalists is a direct and unsafe threat to media freedom and access to information".

It is understood officials who identified themselves as working with the Tanzanian immigration authority detained and interrogated the pair on Wednesday night. The officials searched the pair's belongings and would not return their passports when asked, according to Quintal.

Quintal and Mumo were then escorted from the hotel and have been taken to an unknown location.

The Tanzanian government spokesman however said that they were arrested because they wanted to establish how the two entered the country.

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