After “a very long night”‚ South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation on Thursday confirmed that journalist Angela Quintal has been released after being detained by authorities in Tanzania.
Quintal‚ now working for the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists‚ was detained at her hotel in Dar-es-Salaam with a CPJ colleague on Wednesday evening.
“Following a very long night by the High Commissioner‚ the two journalists have been brought back into their hotel. The High Commissioner [Thami] Mseleku is meeting with them to understand the events of last night‚” South Africa’s Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya told TimesLIVE.
“He will then proceed to engage the Tanzania authority.
“I personally spoke to her this morning and the High Commissioner early this morning‚” Mabaya added.
Quintal‚ who is the Africa Programme co-ordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists‚ had on Wednesday first sent a message from her Facebook page‚ stating that she and a colleague‚ Sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo‚ were being detained.
“SOS we are being taken away for interrogation in Dar. We don’t know why. Taken from Southern Sun Hotel‚” she said.
Hours later‚ she took to her Twitter page to say they had since been released. But her family took to social media to state that the message was not sent by Quintal while the CPJ called on Tanzanian authorities to immediately release its staffers.
Both of their social media accounts were suspended after the dubious post on Quintal’s account.
Quintal and Momo are in Tanzania on a reporting mission for CPJ.
Quintal is a respected journalist and former editor of the Mail & Guardian newspaper‚ amongst other senior positions‚ now working for the media freedom group based in America. She is also a former national office bearer of the South African National Editors’ Forum.