As South Africa
prepares to host the 2010 World Cup and “soccer fever” reaches its height, press freedom may be left on the benches. Police have recently subpoenaed two journalists working for private station e.tv to reveal their sources in a story about a scheme to commit violent crimes during the big event.
On January 16, e.tv interviewed two masked, self-confessed criminals who claimed they planned to steal from tourists in town for the Cup. The police and ruling African National Congress party were not pleased with the bad publicity. Now the police want to use apartheid-era legislation to force News Editor Ben Saidi and reporter Mpho Lakaje to reveal the identity and contact details of the two sources.