3 February 1998


Journalist ordered deported

Incident details

Newton Kanhema



(IPI/IFEX) - Newton Kanhema, a senior reporter for "The Sunday Independent"
and a citizen of Zimbabwe, has been ordered deported from South Africa. The
Department of Home Affairs is trying to serve a letter of notice to
Kanhema, which gives him 21 days to leave South Africa. Kanhema is currently
on a four-month sabbatical at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he
is assisting in an inaugural South Africa programme, but officials served a
similar order to his wife, Jean, whose right to remain in South Africa is
dependant on her husband's eligibility. The Department has challenged
Kanhema's right to live in South Africa because of what they claim is a
discrepancy in his application under the 1996 moratorium granted to people
living in South Africa from member countries of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), which includes Zimbabwe. Under the moratorium,
SADC citizens had to have lived in South Africa continuously since July 1991
in order to qualify for permanent residence. Department officials are
questioning Kanhema's claim that he entered the country in 1990.

While officials have given purely technical reasons for withdrawing
Kanhema's permanent residence permit. The International Press Institute
(IPI) believes that political motives lie behind this decision. Several of
Kanhema's provocative articles have angered the African National Congress
(ANC) leadership, in particular his interview with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
late last year, in which she accused the ANC's national leaders of reneging
on their election promises and of trying to impose leaders on provincial
branches of the organization.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • appealing to them to do everything in their power to ensure that the
    decision to deport Kanhema and his wife is revoked
  • asking them to allow Kanhema to carry out his profession as a journalist
    without further harassment

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Nelson Mandela
    Office of the President
    Private Bag X83
    Pretoria 0001, South Africa
    Fax: +27 12 323 3231 / 323 8246 / 461 4987

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    International Press Institute
    Spiegelgasse 2
    1010 Vienna
    ipi (@) freemedia.at
    Fax:+43 1 5129014
    South Africa

    IFEX members working in this country 1

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