6 January 1998


Journalist charged with theft of government documents

Incident details

Elias Maluleke


legal action

(FXI/IFEX) - The Department of Housing and Land Affairs in the
Gauteng provincial government has laid criminal charges against
"Sunday Times" journalist Elias Maluleke for the alleged theft of
confidential documents. The department claims the documents,
which it says where illegally removed from its offices, provided
the basis of an article by Maluleke which appeared in the "Sunday
Times" on 4 January. The department confirmed that the same
charges had been laid against two other persons suspected of
conspiring with Maluleke in the alleged theft.

The article in question alleged that Dan Mofokeng, a housing
official, had flouted government procedures in his involvement in
the planning of an internal disciplinary action against suspended
departmental head, Enos Ngutshane. Citing "documents in its
possession," the newspaper said that Mofokeng had "specifically
selected" four lawyers to participate in the action in violation
of proper departmental procedures. The newspaper further alleged
that Mofokeng's department knowingly attempted to violate payment
and invoicing procedures. The article quoted the department's
legal advisor, Peter Maake, and Johannesburg State Attorney
Kalyana Pillay, both of whom have subsequently denied speaking
with Maluleke. A spokesman for the department said Mofokeng was
considering "further action regarding the tarnishing of his image
by the "Sunday Times" report".


Freedom of Expression Institute
PO Box 30668 Braamfontein 2017
21st floor, Sable Centre, 41 De Korte Street
Braamfontein, Johannesburg 2001
South Africa
jduncan (@) fxi.org.za
Fax:+27 11 339 4109
South Africa

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