British journalist Simon Wright admits guilt
10 Jul 2010
British journalist Simon Wright, who was arrested by the South African Police Service (SAPS) on 28 June 2010 in Cape Town, paid an admission of guilt fine of R750 on a charge of contravening a section of the Immigration Act, Act 13 of 2002.
This related to trying to book two rooms at a Cape Town Hotel under an assumed name.
The case against Wright was set down for trial in the Cape Town magistrate's court dedicated to world cup matters, but upon arrival at the court this morning his lawyer indicated that he would be prepared to admit guilt on this charge.
Wright paid the admission of guilt fine and, as the matter had been administratively dealt with the other two charges, attempting to defeat the ends of justice with an alternative charge of fraud automatically fell away and the trial was removed from the court roll.
As Wright's fingerprints were taken and he admitted guilt to an offence, he now has a criminal record in South Africa.
The Minister of Police, Mr Nathi Mthethwa said: "We welcome this outcome as it represents a major victory, not only for the criminal justice system but for the country as a whole.
"Wright's admission of guilt is indicative that some journalists will do anything to get a story, even commit a criminal act. We are a sovereign country, with laws that must be upheld by all citizens, as well as all visitors".
Sally de Beer
Cell: 082 779 8658
Source: South African Police Service
Issued by: South African Police Service
10 Jul 2010
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