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Media duo to proceed with police case despite presidential apology

Two female journalists who were allegedly manhandled by the police this week and barred from covering a health ministry event have said they will not withdraw a case they have opened with the police despite an apology from the presidency.

Charmain Ngatjiheue from The Namibian and Jemima Beukes from the Namibian Sun were barred from the event to which they had initially been invited only for the Presidency to make a u-turn, opting for the national broadcaster to cover it instead.

The journalists said this was censorship.

The presidency issued a statement saying it regretted how the situation was handled and blamed it on a miscommunication with the ministry of information communication technology.

Ngatjiheue said the apology was “not on the fact that we were manhandled or that there was a threat made on our lives, the apology from both the presidency and the health ministry was only because they decided to ban all other media from covering the event”.

“Jemima and I feel we needed to stand up for our people hence we walked in. We want the presidency, our host, because they invited us to cover the event, to specifically touch on the manhandling and threat to life that occurred to Jemima and I. You saw the pictures and this was in full view of all the guests, including the president. So, to answer your question, our charges and complaint remains,” she said
Beukes said, “that apology made no mention of our treatment and the fact that we were threatened with being shot.”

She added, “My understanding is that this apology is a general statement. Unless the president believes assault, harassment or threatening our lives is an “inconvenience”, which is absurd.”

Julia Heita

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