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Says Sowetan reporter shamed his fellow villagers

By unknown | Dec 08, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sakhile Mokoena

A Sowetan journalist in Mpumalanga has been summoned to a tribal court for writing a report about his fellow villagers who were reprimanded by a local chief for being too noisy when having sex.

Alfred Moselakgomo, 26, has received a letter ordering him to appear before the village's kgotla [tribal court] in Lefiso. He is accused of giving his community bad publicity.

In the letter, which is in Sowetan's possession, traditional leader Kgosi Ben Letsoalo accuses the reporter of not asking for permission to publish the report and of giving his village bad publicity.

The article by Moselakgomo appeared in Sowetan on Wednesday.

It was about a couple who were shamed before the tribal court for making too much noise while having sex.

Their neighbours reported Emily Dolo, 21, and her boyfriend Barnet Motloung, 31, to Letsoalo after their appeal to them to stop making so much noise during sex was ignored.

Motloung reportedly told the court that he enjoyed the screams of a woman during sex because it was "romantic".

"I'm shocked at the chief's reaction. I don't know if he would be able to do this if I wasn't a member of his community," said Moselakgomo.

He said he would, however, obey the chief's order to attend the court.

Thabo Leshilo, editor-in-chief of Sowetan, said he wanted to meet Letsoalo so that he could explain to him the danger his summons posed for journalists.

Ferial Haffajee, chairman of the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef), said: "Sanef believes that Sowetan cannot accede to the summons of Kgosi Ben Letsoalo.

"Reporter Alfred Moselakgomo will not be able to testify before the tribunal for the same reason that journalists resist summonses under section 205 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

"To do so would jeopardise his relationship with his sources and dent his independence."

Haffajee said Sanef supported Sowetan's intention to discuss the Moselakgomo issue with Letsoalo.


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