Journalists manhandled, threatened by Joburg cops - Sanef

2015-05-26 21:39
Johannesburg Metro Police. (File)

Johannesburg Metro Police. (File)

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Johannesburg – A cameraman and a photographer were allegedly manhandled by metro police officers in the Johannesburg city centre on Tuesday, the SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) said.

The officers “manhandled and threatened” eNCA cameraman Pierre le Roux and Beeld photographer Cornel van Heerden after they photographed and filmed the arrest of an alleged drunk driver outside the High Court in Johannesburg, Sanef media freedom sub-committee chairperson Adriaan Basson said in a statement.

“Two JMPD [Johannesburg Metro Police Department] officers became aggressive and told the journalists they had no right to be there and should stop filming and taking pictures. A scuffle ensued during which one officer grabbed Le Roux’s camera.

“The equipment was damaged during the scuffle. The officer threatened to arrest Le Roux and detain him in the JMPD vehicle with the alleged drunk driver. Van Heerden was also accosted by a JMPD officer, but managed to get away.”

When a JMPD officer in civilian clothes arrived, his colleagues let the journalists go.

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable and an infringement of the constitutional rights of journalist to do their work in a free and open society,” Basson said.

JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the two needed to provide statements detailing where and when it happened so the footage from CCTV cameras in the area could be reviewed.

Basson, who is also Beeld editor, said he would meet Le Roux on Wednesday to discuss what to do, adding that it would be a good idea to co-operate with the JMPD, in order to catch the culprits.

Read more on:    enca  |  sanef  |  beeld  |  johannesburg  |  media  |  crime

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