Namibia detains photo journalist shadowing Jolie
By Gordon Bell
WALVIS BAY, Namibia (Reuters) – A South African
photographer was due in a Namibian court on Monday after police
said he climbed onto their station roof to try to snap a shot
of pregnant superstar Angelina Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt.
John Liebenberg was arrested on Friday afternoon after
going to a private hospital in the Namibian port town of Walvis
Bay on a tip-off that Jolie had been rushed there to have her
highly anticipated baby.
Liebenberg, a 48-year-old veteran photo journalist, was
taken into custody after driving into the back of a police
barracks in search of a vantage point to take a photograph.
“He turned into the back entrance of the police station and
we saw a policeman ordering him out of his car,” a reporter,
who was driving behind him said, declining to be named for fear
of falling foul of the police.
Police say Liebenberg was trespassing and trying to climb
onto the roof of the police station to get a clear shot of the
entrance to the hospital.
Pitt, 42, and Jolie, 30 — dubbed “Brangelina” by the
tabloid press — have sparked a media frenzy since arriving in
the southern African country six weeks ago to have their first
child, far from the prying lenses of Hollywood.
Their bodyguards and Namibian security have shielded the
couple from journalists and hounded some out of town.
Green cloth screens mask the beach resort where they are
staying, while pepper-spraying bodyguards and undercover police
have made it almost impossible to get close.
Liebenberg’s lawyer said he was due in court on Monday. He
is expected to face a fine and may be sent back to South
Friends, who were allowed access to Liebenberg on Sunday,
said he was being held in a communal cell at the police
“They called me late on Friday night, telling me I must get
him an asthma pump but I was not allowed to see him,” said Jan
Duvenhage, a local businessman who was tasked to bring him
He also told Reuters the photographer was suffering stomach
problems and was “not in good spirits.”
Jolie’s due date had been reported to be May 18.