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One sports reporter assaulted by soccer player, another by fans

(MISA/IFEX) - On 15 and 16 July 2006, two sports journalists of the "Times of Swaziland" were assaulted at different football stadiums during soccer games.

On 15 July, sports reporter Sabelo Ndzinisa was assaulted by a soccer player during a match at Rocklands stadium in Pigg's Peak, northern Swaziland. Ndzinisa was assaulted by Dumisa Masika, a defence player for the premier league club Malanti Chiefs, who claimed the "Times" newspaper had written negative stories about him.

Ndzinisa was on assignment, covering a friendly match between Mbabane Swaziland, a premier league team, and Manchester United, playing in the northern Hhohho regional league.

The player, who was a spectator during the match, claimed he had been defamed in a popular satirical sports column published by the "Times" every weekend. He punched the reporter several times in front of excited soccer fans who appeared to urge him on. The reporter managed to free himself from his assailant and ran to safety.

The following day, 16 July, another "Times" sports reporter, Ntokozo Magongo, was assaulted by violent soccer fans at Mayaluka stadium in Big Bend, eastern Swaziland. This was during a Tinkhundla constituency soccer game, aimed at promoting Swaziland's political system, the Tinkhundla system of government.

The reporter was assaulted for taking pictures of the violence between fans.

MISA Swaziland has condemned the continued assaults of journalists during soccer games in Swaziland.

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