Alert / Media Alert

Journalist punished by editor, spends night in office

MISA-Swaziland Alert
Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Swazi Observer, a daily newspaper, reports on June 4 2013 that a journalist at the rival daily Times of Swaziland “spent a night in the newsroom as a form of punishment by his supervisor”.

Swaziland’s Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Swaziland), a press freedom NGO, has spoken to the Times journalist in question who confirmed the incident, which took place at the Times of Swaziland office in the captial Mbabane on May 22 2013.

Speaking to the Swazi Observer for its article on the matter, MISA-Swaziland national director Vuyisile Hlatshwayo said he was disappointed that an editor of a national newspaper would act in such a way.

“Such a matter deserves to be reported to SNAJ (the journalists’ association) and be taken to other bodies so that such an act is discouraged before other media houses copy it,” said Hlatshwayo.

The MISA-Swaziland boss noted that media owners were taking advantage of the fact that journalists do not have fully functioning unions to address their issues.

It was reported that the journalist in question was punished because of his “academic background and capability which the sources felt might have triggered jealousy on the part of the editor”.

Phakama Shili, MISA-Swaziland advocacy officer, says the treatment meted out to the journalist was a serious violation of the country’s labour laws as well as the Constitution.

“Journalists, like all other human beings, have rights to dignity and fair treatment,” said Shili.

For comments or queries, please contact:
Vuyisile Hlatshwayo
MISA-Swaziland National Director
Email: misa.nd@realnet.co.sz

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