There is confusion around whether or not well-known South African journalist Angela Quintal and her colleague have been released after appealing for help on social media, saying they had been taken for interrogation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
In a tweet sent from her account, Quintal, a former editor and now Africa Programme Coordinator at Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) appeared to allay fears by confirming that she and Muthoki Mumo, who is sub-saharan Africa representative for CPJ Africa had been released and were on their way back to the hotel they were staying in.
However, her family claims that Quintal is still being detained and that someone else may be in possession of her phone.
A few hours earlier, Quintal sent out an SOS on both Facebook and Twitter saying she and Mumo were being taken to an unknown location for interrogation.
“SOS we are being taken away for interrogation in Dar [es Salaam]. We don’t know why. Taken away from Southern Sun Hotel.”
“We are concerned for the safety of our colleagues Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo, who were detained while legally visiting Tanzania,” said CPJ executive director Joel Simon.
It said in a statement that officers, who identified themselves as working with the Tanzanian immigration authority, detained Quintal and Mumo in their hotel room. The officials searched the pair’s belongings and confiscated their passports.
Quintal and Mumo were then escorted from the hotel and have been taken to an unknown location.
In the meantime, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation is trying to establish what has happened.
Spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya told News24 that he had called Dirco’s operations room and was contacting South Africa’s ambassador in Tanzania.
“I am also trying to get hold of her [Quintal] to find out what is happening,” he said.
Mabaya also contacted South African High Commissioner to Tanzania Thami Mseleku.
“[W]e are following up on the matter, we are talking to the hotel to get all details, and High Commissioner Maseleku promised to attend to it”.
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