Former Mail & Guardian editor Angela Quintal and her colleague Muthoki Mumo are safe and back in their hotel after being detained by Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday night, the Department of International Relations has confirmed.
Speaking to us on Thursday morning, spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said that while there is still much uncertainty about their detention, the pair were returned to their Dar es Salaam hotel at around 03:00 on Thursday.
Quintal is Africa programme co-ordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Muthoki Mumo is CPJ’s sub-Saharan Africa representative.
They were detained by Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday night for reasons that remain unclear.
While they are no longer in custody, Mabaya said Tanzanian authorities have their passports.
This means that they could still be under detention, but this has not been confirmed.
On Thursday morning, the South African high commissioner will meet with the Tanzanian authorities to assess the situation. For now, Quintal and Mumo are well and will stay at their hotel, Mabaya said.
“She is safe, she is fine… she is quite concerned about what happened last night. But you know Angela – she is fine, and full of jokes,” said Mabaya.
It is also unclear whether Tanzanian authorities have Quintal’s cellphone, after a number of her social media profiles were deactivated on Wednesday evening.
Mabaya said she was unable to locate it and her Twitter and Facebook profiles remain deactivated.