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Released on: February 9, 2024

Freelancer in court for “trespassing”

Freelance journalist Thomo Nkgadima appeared in the Limpopo Magistrate’s Court to face charges of trespassing and intimdation. Nkgadima was arrested, charged and held over Christmas after he published a story about mayor Eddie Maila in Sunday World. The story said his house was in an area of illegal electricity connections and bulk theft of power.

Nkgadima was released on bail. On February 8, the case was remanded to allow lawyers for Nkgadima to make representations to the NPA to drop the case.

Nkgadima was acting within the scope of his duties as a journalist, the lawyers argued, and had taken his pictures some distance from the house, never entering the premises or interacting with the mayor. The prospects for successful prosecution were “extremely low”.

“This appears to be just harassment of a journalist for doing his job,” said CFE’s Anton Harber. “This kind of hyper-local accountability reporting is so important and valuable to our democracy, and we need to protect the journalists doing it under tough conditions.”

CFE, working with Media Defence in London, arranged for Nkgadima’s legal defence.

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