JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Namibian authorities are clamping down on journalists trying to follow Brad Pitt, pregnant Angelina Jolie and her two adopted children after the couple asked for some privacy, according to a newspaper report Sunday.
South Africa’s Sunday Times said the couple’s security chief gave a local journalist a statement asking that they be left alone.
“We love Africa and to be here in Namibia with our family is very special for us,” the statement said. “To the local people who have been so kind and gracious, thank you for making us feel at home.
“As for the press, we kindly ask for privacy so that we can enjoy this beautiful country with our children.”
The statement was signed by both Jolie and Pitt.
NBC News' Ann Curry traveled to Namibia and spoke with Jolie about her new life and soon-to-be born child. The exclusive interview with Jolie will air on the "Today" show Thursday (7 a.m. ET/PT) and on "Dateline" on Sunday (7 p.m. ET/PT).
(MSNBC is a joint venture of NBC and Microsoft.)
The Sunday Times said its own photographer and three French photographers were ordered to leave Namibia or face arrest. Journalists require accreditation to work in the country.
Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula defended the move, saying the couple should be left alone.
“This lady is expecting,” he told the Sunday Times. “You guys are harassing her. Why don’t you allow her some privacy? Harassment is not allowed in Namibia.
“If a person says they don’t want to be photographed then, of course, that person deserves protection.”
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Slideshow: Brad Pitt The couple and their entourage are staying at the luxury Burning Shores resort hotel between the scenic old colonial German town of Swakopmond and the resort of Walvis Bay, in an area where the desert sand dunes descend spectacularly to the sea.
Despite tight security, photographers have managed to snap images of Hollywood’s hottest couple.
The Sunday Times said Jolie and Pitt were spotted last week at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet with her children, Maddox and Zahara, and then went to a pet store to buy a turtle.
They also visited a jewelry shop.
A Namibian official said last week that Jolie might have Pitt’s baby in the southern African nation.
Jolie, who starred with Pitt in the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” was first in Namibia when filming the movie “Beyond Borders” in 2002.
Namibia, rich in diamonds and strategic metals and home to 1.8 million people, gained independence from neighboring South Africa after a 23-year war in 1990 and has since been ruled by a democratically elected government.
The country is a popular tourist destination for South Africans for its brilliant scenery and teeming wildlife.
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