ICD to investigate photographer assaults: report

2011-02-07 11:03

Two attacks on newspaper photographers by police officers in Bloemfontein and Pretoria are to be investigated by the Independent Complaints Directorate, the Pretoria News reported today.

Pretoria News chief photographer Masi Losi was physically assaulted on Friday while photographing two Pretoria Central police station officers rescuing a suspected thief from a mob threatening to lynch him outside the newspaper’s offices in Vermeulen Street.

Volksblad photographer Theo Jephta, was attacked and then driven off by two police officers in Bloemfontein while photographing a group of pupils fighting in the city.

The policemen had, at the time, allegedly been sitting in their vehicle watching the fight. Jephta was released only after senior police officers in the Free State were contacted.

Colonel Neville Malila told the Pretoria News that apart from the criminal case opened by Losi, an internal inquiry into the actions of the policemen was being conducted.

“No arrests have been made and the policemen have not been suspended. A case of common assault is being investigated and a full report will be sent to our disciplinary department today for a decision on what action is to be taken,” he said.

Volksblad acting editor Annelize Doubell said the newspaper’s management would meet with the company’s lawyers.
“Once we have met them we will decide on what further action to take.”

he South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) and ProJourn have condemned the assaults and demanded that they be “dealt with by the highest authority”.

Sanef said it wanted the police responsible charged and punished.

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