IFJ Calls for Investigation into Shooting of Journalist in South Africa

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on South African authorities to conduct a thorough and swift investigation into the shooting of Abel Mutsakani an exiled Zimbabwean journalist and news website editor based in South Africa.

“We condemn this attack which raises again the need for more security for journalists and other citizens in South Africa,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa office. “We wish a speedy recovery to Abel and we call on the South African authorities to conduct a thorough investigation that will swiftly bring those responsible to justice.”

Abel Mutsakani was shot on July 23rd after three unidentified men attacked him when he was parking his car near his house in Johannesburg at around 9 pm. Mutsakani was shot in the chest and left with a ruptured lung. He was released from hospital on July 26th and, according to local reports, doctors have said it is too risky to remove immediately the bullet lodged near his heart.

Police are investigating the shooting and authorities still do not know why Mutsakani was attacked. Some journalists suspect that the attack may have been related to his work as a journalist because his assailants did not take any of his belongings.

Mutsakani was the managing editor of Zimbabwe daily newspaper The Daily News until it was banned in 2003. After that he was the managing editor of the Zimbabwe’s financial weekly, The Financial Gazette. He moved to South Africa in 2004, so that he could report freely on Zimbabwe, and launched ZimOnline.

For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 114 countries