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Journalists' case referred to Supreme Court

(MISA/IFEX) - On 28 February 2011, Harare Magistrate Don Ndirowei removed from remand and granted an application for referral to the Supreme Court submitted by "The Standard" journalists Nevanji Madanhire and Nqobani Ndlovu after the state failed to oppose the application.

Madanhire, who is the editor of "The Standard", and Ndlovu, a reporter for the paper, are being charged under Section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Section 31 deals with the publication of statements that "undermine public confidence in law enforcement agencies." The charges arise from the publication of a story carried in the 14 November 2010 edition of "The Standard" that said that police promotional examinations had been cancelled to accommodate war veterans and retired police chiefs ahead of the anticipated general elections in 2011.

The journalists were charged along with Loud Ramakpola, a reprentative of Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), the publishers of "The Standard" and "Zimbabwe Independent" weeklies. Ndirowei ruled that the case could proceed by way of summons.

Madanhire, Ndlovu and Ramakpola were represented by lawyer Chris Mhike.


BACKGROUND:

Ndlovu was arrested in Bulawayo on 17 November 2010 and released on bail after spending nine days in the Khami prison. Madanhire was arrested later, on 30 November, and was released on bail on 1 December.

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