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MISA condemns attack on journalist at Manzini church service

(MISA/IFEX) - On 10 January 2010, a journalist with the privately-owned "Times of Swaziland newspaper", Manqoba Nxumalo, was attacked, harassed and had his notebook confiscated by church-goers whilst he was covering a church service in Manzini, Swaziland's second main city.

According to an 11 January report in the "Times", the reporter was accused of "illegally" covering the church service. Church elders manhandled him and confiscated his notebook before ordering marshals to chase him away.

The church members told the journalist that he should have sought permission before covering the church service.

The church elders had earlier blocked "Times" photojournalist Mkhulisi Magongo from entering the church marquee but had not noticed that Nxumalo was already inside covering the service.

The "Times" journalists were following a story about the pastor of the church who is currently embroiled in controversy following a love triangle involving the married pastor and a female church member.

MISA-Swaziland condemns any form of attacks and harassment of journalists. MISA appeals to the church leaders and the public to allow journalists to do their job freely and without harassment or any forms of attack.

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