The bad thing about journalism

Besides being censored by either the government, businesses or just members of our society – I think the pre-empting statement or response of what is to come or to be expected in the next edition either of the newspaper of the magazine is quite annoying, if not dangerous.

This feeling comes after South African Police Commissioner Bheki Cele allegedly denied allegations put to him by the Mail & Guardian newspaper this week that he was subject of a corruption investigation by murder-accused crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. Mdluli and three accomplices were arrested last week for allegedly killing the husband of an ex-lover of Mdluli in 1999.

According to the newspaper, Cele’s spokesperson, Major-General Nonkululeko Mbatha issued a public statement after the newspaper “submitted a series of questions to Cele concerning a ‘top secret dossier’ allegedly prepared by Mdluli”.

“The SAPS would like to place it on record that General Cele is not, and has never been, the subject of any criminal investigation by the police or any state organ for that matter,” said Mbatha in a statement. He said the South African Police Service (SAPS) had learnt that the media intend to publish a patently false allegation that Cele was subject of either an ongoing or a concluded corruption investigation by Mdluli, the crime intelligence head.

“The SAPS would like to place it on record that General Cele is not, and has never been, the subject of any criminal investigation by the police or any state organ for that matter”.

He said the SAPS “would also like to record the fact that at around 7pm yesterday [Wednesday], 06 April 2011, General Cele was handed a copy of a recently declassified letter marked ‘Top Secret’ that Lieutenant-General Mdluli purportedly sent to him and several others on November 11 2010, pleading for the investigation that saw him being arrested last week to be stopped on the basis that it amounted to nothing but victimisation and abuse of state resources”.

Apparently, according to Mbatha, copies of the said letter are understood to have been sent to several journalists earlier this week.

Whatever is alleged in the report due to be published tomorrow by the newspaper – I think as an observer it is bad for the newspaper when the SAPS respond to the allegations the way it did so as to clear then air before the full report is published.

Anyway, I think we would have to report the report and make up our own mind, don’t we?

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