Journalist assaulted in Polokwane
Polokwane - A photojournalist was assaulted on the sidelines of the elective conference in Polokwane when he went to investigate the alleged printing of duplicate voting tags by ANC Youth League members on Saturday.
Freelance journalist Chester Makana told Sapa he was hit with a brick on the head as two men, one of whom he said he can identify, stormed out of the printers on Thabo Mbeki road, forcing him to stop taking pictures.
"They came out and asked why I was taking pictures. Then they started attacking me. It was bad," said Makana whose bruised head was evidence of the attack.
He had been tipped off about the alleged duplication printings as delegates sat in closed sessions, which would culminate in the election of leaders in a heated battle that sets the foundation for the ANC elective conference in Mangaung next year.
Contesting for the position of provincial chairperson is the incumbent, Cassel Mathale - who is also the Limpopo premier - and Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Joe Phaahla.
Makana said the two men grabbed his camera and destroyed his memory card before chasing him away around 16:00.
He then went to a police station to open a case against his attackers.
Provincial police spokesperson Hangwana Mulaudzi confirmed that a case of assault and malicious damage to property was registered at a police station.
"We've already identified the perpetrators and are looking for them. We will find them and they will be arrested," said Mulaudzi.
ANC provincial spokesperson David Masondo said he was made aware of the incident and that internal investigations were underway.
"We take this very seriously. If the person(s) concerned are found guilty by the internal disciplinary committee, we will act decisively," said Masondo.
"We appreciate the fact that the journalist opened a case. We will let the law take its own course."
The Independent Electoral Commission had started printing out ballots just after 23:00, with delegates expected to start voting for their top five as soon as that process is done.
Results were expected to be announced on Sunday morning.