The Lesotho Times and Sunday Express Editor, Lloyd Mutungamiri and Senior Reporter, Lekhetho Ntsukunyane, were arrested yesterday morning over a story which appeared in the Lesotho Times edition of 19-25 September 2014.
Mr Mutungamiri and Mr Ntsukunyane were detained when they reported to the Police Headquarters as demanded by the Lesotho Mounted Police Service Special Investigations Unit, at 8:30am yesterday.
The reporters were informed they were being arrested for the lead story, ‘Top officials face high treason charges’, and would appear in court tomorrow charged with defamation under Penal Code of 2011, Section 104.
Mr Mutungamiri was released from police cells at 4pm, while Mr Ntsukunyane also went home at around 9pm after undertaking to be available for tomorrow’s court appearance.
In a statement released late last night, Africa Media Holdings—publishers of the Lesotho Times and Sunday Express— noted: “We can confirm that our Editor, Lloyd Mutungamiri and Senior Reporter, Lekhetho Ntsukunyane, were asked to report to the Police Headquarters at 8:30am today and were subsequently detained after being charged with defamation under Penal Code of 2011, Section 104. Both journalists, who were later realised at 4pm and around 9pm respectively, were asked to report to Police Headquarters on Monday at 8am.
“Africa Media Holdings will be releasing further information regarding the issue in due course as the case is now being handled by our lawyers.”