Bob Rugurika

Bob Rugurika

To be delivered by Bob Rugurika of Radio Publique Africaine, Burundi

Rugurika: ‘If we give up, this world will deteriorate.’

As a student at Wits, Carlos Cardoso was deported to Mozambique in 1974 because of his support for the Frelimo government. He became a journalist, and while investigating political and financial fraud, he was assassinated in Maputo on 22 November 2000.

Bob Rugurika (38) is an investigative journalist and the director of the private and independent radio station Radio Publique Africaine (RPA) in Burundi. It frequently broadcasts information viewed as critical of the government, including detailed accounts of alleged human rights abuses and financial scandals.

The most recent investigation looked into the murder of three Italian nuns. The station broadcasted an interview in which a guest claimed to be involved in the murder of the nuns and implicated several intelligence and police officers in the murders. After refusing to say where the guest was located, Rugurika was arrested on January 19, 2015 and held for one month. He was charged with complicity in murder and breach of public solidarity. Rugurika was forced into exile after his release and continues to work as a journalist from Rwanda.

In the past years, Burundi has seen a shrinking media space, coupled with a government crackdown on the independent press. Rugurika’s arrest forms part of a pattern of government attacks on freedom of expression, particularly targeting journalists, activists, and members of political parties.

DATE: 8 November 2016

TIME: 4.30 pm Reception, 5.30 pm Lecture

VENUE: Wits Science Stadium, Auditorium 3, West Campus

RSVP: aijc@journalism.co.za