Death threats to S. African journos

Reporters attacked, threatened

JOHANNESBURG — It seems working for the South African Broadcasting Corp. can be a dangerous job.

Two senior political reporters received death threats last week, just a month after it was revealed the SABC had hired bodyguards to protect its head of internal audits, Elsje Oosthuizen,who is conducting an internal corruption investigation.

On March 22, SABC2’s Sotho weather presenter Tshidi Diphoko was attacked and robbed at gunpoint at her apartment in Johannesburg. Sunday newspapers subsequently received emails apologizing to Diphoko, saying she was not the intended victim. The email reportedly read, in part: “Sorry to Tshidi we mistaken her to Sophie Mokoena and Miranda Strydom (whom) we gonna kill.”

SABC rep Kaizer Kganyago said the death threats had been reported to the police.

“These cowardly acts can turn out to be a hoax, but we are taking these threats seriously. The SABC will continue to monitor this and should anything happen to any employee we will ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.”

Police are investigating, but it is not yet clear why these reporters are being targeted or by whom. The two political reporters themselves would not comment, referring all inquiries to the SABC.

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