Attack on photographer condemned

2013-06-12 21:56
(Brendan Croft, Beeld)

(Brendan Croft, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The National Press Club has condemned an "unprovoked attack" on a Pretoria News photographer by a security guard.

"An attack on one journalist doing his job is one too many," chairperson Jos Charle said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We condemn this in all possible ways and we urge the police to treat this matter with the urgency it deserves."

Charle said the assault happened on Monday outside the Pretoria hospital where former president Nelson Mandela is believed to be receiving treatment.

Photographer Phil Magakoe was attacked by a hospital security guard during African National Congress MP Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's visit to her ex-husband.

He said Magakoe was part of a group of journalists trying to get a picture of Madikizela-Mandela. The attack took place while she was out of sight.

"It was at this point that the guard started swearing at journalists and threatened them. Magakoe was slapped in the face and his camera was kicked to the ground, causing thousands of rands in damages to the lens and body," said Charle.

"I am glad that Magakoe has laid charges of common assault and malicious damage to property. This type of behaviour does not belong in this country, especially at a time when our country is deeply praying for our ailing former president.

"Journos are only serving the world, who wants to know about the well-being of an icon. Let's all refrain from heavy-handed tactics while everybody just wants to do a job under difficult circumstances," Charle said.

Comment from the police and the hospital could not immediately be obtained.

Mandela has been receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection in a Pretoria hospital since Saturday.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  media

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