WASHINGTON DC —
Police have released Newsday newspaper deputy editor Nqaba Matshazi, journalist Xolisani Ncube and Sifikile Thabethe, a representative of their company, Alpha Media Holdings, who were arrested for allegedly writing falsehoods.
The three staffers, who are represented by lawyer Taona Nyamakura, are facing allegations of communicating or publishing false statements prejudicial to the state after running a story in the newspaper’s Wednesday’s edition titled ‘CIO secretly gets bonuses’.
Matshazi thanked those people who supported them while they were in police custody.
“Hi guys thanks for the support, been a hectic 30 or so hours but at least we aren't in custody anymore,” read his tweet posted soon after he left police cells.
His attorney Nyamakura said police handled the case in a professional manner as they did not torture three staffers.
Matshazi and Ncube were each asked to pay $200 bail. Thabethe was released on free bail.
Nyamakura said they will challenge the constitutionality of some sections of the law they are being accused of violating.
They are facing charges of contravening Section 31 (1) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Government has been struggling to pay salaries and bonuses for its 550,000-strong workforce but it is known to prioritize the security sector.