Free State Premier Ace Magashule has condemned the arson attacks on a Sasolburg radio station and the house of a Free State mayor.
“The premier has condemned the barbaric act of arson that led to the torching of Karabo FM, a community radio station in Zamdela (Sasolburg),” Magashule’s spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said today.
In a separate incident, a house belonging to Fezile Dabi district municipality mayor Max Moshodi was also set alight.
Earlier, Karabo FM board chairman Sam Mkhwanazi said the radio station was deliberately burnt down by two unidentified men.
“Two armed men, covering their faces, went into the studio carrying 25 litres of petrol. They sprinkled it around and set the place alight on Saturday night,” he said at the weekend.
The two ordered the presenter out of the studio before setting the building on fire at about 9pm.
Mvambi said the torching and destruction of community assets should not be politicised and could not be tolerated.
The premier’s office would work with all concerned to ensure that Karabo FM was back on air in the shortest possible time.
Yesterday, the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) said the burning of the radio station was an attack on South Africa’s democratic principles.
The attack was yet another reminder that almost 20 years into democracy the right to freedom of expression and specifically media freedom still needed to be protected and advanced, the FXI said.
Referring to Moshodi’s house, Mvambi said communities could not be allowed to become playgrounds of criminality.
“The communities of the Free State cannot live in fear and be terrorised by uncivilised, faceless people,” he said.
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