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Two South African journalists arrested while covering election press conference, charged

(MISA/IFEX) - On 27 March 2008, two South Africans were arrested in Harare and charged with violating the repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

The two, Sipho Moses Maseko and Abdulla Ismail Gaibee, were arrested at the Harare International Conference Centre while covering a press conference on the elections held by Minister of Information and Publicity Sikanyiso Ndlovu.

Maseko and Gaibee appeared on 31 March before Harare Regional Magistrate Lilian Kudya, where they were charged for contravening Section 78 (2) of AIPPA as amended. The allegations against them are that they "held themselves as accredited journalists" without being so accredited.

Magistrate Kudya set 2 April as their trial date.

Chris Mhike and Thabani Mpofu are representing the duo while Ms Maposa appeared for the state.

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