Namibia Throws Out Paparazzi

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JOHANNESBURG Namibia has given the marching orders to three French paparazzis and a South African photographer for trying to snap Angelina Jolie, who is eight months pregnant with Brad Pitt’s child, the Sunday Times reported. South Africa’s Sunday Times said the crackdown on journalists was unprecedented and had the backing of the country’s prime minister. “Three French paparazzi photographers were ordered to leave this week or face arrest,” the newspaper said. “Others – including a Sunday Times photographer – have been issued letters by the country’s Directorate of Immigration saying they are ‘prohibited/illegal immigrants’ and given 48 hours to pack up and leave or face arrest,” it said. Hollywood’s golden couple are in the country and Jolie is expected to give birth to their first child there. The Sunday Times quoted Steven Mulundu, a senior immigration official, as saying that it was the first time since Namibia’s independence in 1990 that journalists had been forced to leave. Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula defended the move, saying the couple should be left alone. “This lady is expecting,” he said. “You guys are harassing her. Why don’t you allow her some privacy? Harassment is not allowed in Namibia.” He added: “If a person says they don’t want to be photographed then, of course, that person deserves protection.” But he added that Jolie’s bodyguards – who have allegedly threatened and harassed locals and journalists in the wealthy enclave of Langstrand north of Walvis Bay where the couple are holed up – would not be allowed to take the law into their own hands. Jolie and Pitt were last week spotted at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet with their adopted children Maddox and Zahara, seen shopping for a turtle at a pet store and visiting a jewellery shop. The couple have meanwhile also issued a statement appealing for privacy. “We love Africa and to be here in Namibia with our family is very special for us,” it said, while thanking the “local people who have been so kind and generous”. “As for the press, we kindly ask for privacy so that we can enjoy this beautiful country with our children. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.” Angelina Jolie, who starred with Pitt in the movie “Mr and Mrs Smith”, has been in Namibia before when filming the movie “Beyond Borders” in 2002. She spent several weeks on the set as footage was shot outside the nearby holiday town of Swakopmund. – Nampa-AFP