Oilgate: Police probe the Mail & Guardian

The Mail & Guardian is being investigated by police national headquarters in an apparent bid to out the newspaper’s sources of information that Oilgate company Imvume Management diverted R11-million in public funds to the African National Congress.

Signs that the investigation enjoys top priority include:

  • It is being conducted by the commercial branch head office at police headquarters in Pretoria, a specialised crime fighting unit.

  • A police intelligence front company is assisting in the investigation. The front company is a leftover from the apartheid state’s dirty tricks arsenal.

  • Police this week took the highly controversial step of serving a Section 205 subpoena on MWeb, hosts of M&G Online. This appears to undermine earlier agreements between prosecuting authorities and the South African National Editors’ Forum.

M&G editor Ferial Haffajee said on Thursday: “This smacks of an abuse of state resources to shoot the messenger, while the guilty parties in the M&G’s Oilgate exposÃ

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

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