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Reviews : Mthethwa slams e.tv for 2010 crime report

Police have vowed to track down and arrest two criminals who threatened to murder and rob foreigners during this year's World Cup in interviews broadcast on local television channel e.tv.

Lashing out at e.tv, which broadcast the interviews on Friday evening, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa accused the station of "reckless harbouring of criminals".

But group news editor Ben Said claimed it was e.News' duty to inform the public, and Mthethwa was shooting the messenger.

Head of Crime Line Yusuf Abramjee said that as one of the government's partners in the fight against crime, they were equally disturbed.

We are worried by the utter-acnes made by these two self-confessed criminals on a national platform like e.tv.

"These two criminals have tormented police publicly and caused mayhem. They must therefore be brought to book and we appeal to anyone with information to help," he said.

South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) chairman Jovial Rantao said their leadership would only consider the matter today.

The footage had both self-confessed criminals' identities hidden - one with a stocking pulled over his head, the other filmed loading a firearm - and contained comments that they intended to commit armed robberies and murder during the football showpiece in June and July.

They justified their intentions by saying it was repayment for colonial wrongs.

Mthethwa’s said the men would face charges of contravening the Intimidation Act for their comments which could carry sentences of up to 25 years.

Mthethwa's also said e.tv's "repeated airing of this footage constitutes gratuitous sensationalism, promotes unlawfulness and creates a climate of fear and hysteria".

Said defended the station: "While it is unsettling to hear criminals mock police, it remains a reality that the criminals we spoke to do not seem intimidated by the SAPS and their shoot-to-kill statements."

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele called on e.tv to work with the police by providing the identities and locations of the pair.

"That, in itself, will be a major contribution in their commitment towards a safer South Africa," he said.

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Tags: crime   police   E-tv   Mthethwa   Nathi  

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