Reporter and cameraman fined for unauthorized filming


November 7, 2006
Original Case: May 3, 2006
Beauty Mokoba, Botswana Television
Koketso Seofela, Botswana Television


Mokoba and Seofela, respectively reporter and cameraman of state broadcaster Botswana Television, were each fined a total of 5,000 Zimbabwean dollars (US$20) for contravening Zimbabwe’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the Immigration Act, their lawyer, Promise Ncude, told CPJ. A magistrate in the Zimbabwean border town of Plumtree convicted the journalists despite the state prosecutor’s concession that the offenses lacked substantive grounds, Ncude said.

Zimbabwean police arrested Mokoba and Seofela after they filmed without authorization on the Zimbabwean side of the Bostwana-Zimbabwe border in connection with a story about an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, according to local and international media reports. Authorities did not return the footage, according to Ncude.