Sanef slams assault of photographer

2013-05-02 23:05
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The SA National Editors Forum on Thursday condemned the arrest and alleged assault by police in Oudtshoorn on Die Son newspaper photographer Hein Coetzee.

Coetzee was arrested on charges of crimen injuria and riotous behaviour on Tuesday but it appeared the charges had been dropped, Sanef said in a statement.

"Coetzee was covering a mob attack on ANC provincial chair Marius Fransman and took photographs of the mob chasing Fransman as he fled the scene with his police bodyguards," Sanef said in a statement.

"Coetzee said after the police closed on him and arrested him they assaulted him and sprayed him with pepper. The police also took possession of his cellphone and camera."

Coetzee was treated in hospital for injuries before he spent Tuesday night in jail. He was released on Wednesday.

Sanef said the police should exercise restraint on journalists on duty and called on the police to abide by their own standing orders as well as the South African Constitution.

Coetzee is laying charges against the police.

"Sanef stresses the irony that while journalists in many democracies throughout the world celebrate Friday, May 3, World Press Freedom Day... the police in South Africa should again be trying to exercise restraint on a journalist doing his duty and, in addition, assaulting him so severely that he required medical treatment in hospital."

The fact that no further action had been taken against Coetzee suggested that charges brought against him would be dropped, Sanef said.

Read more on:    saps  |  george  |  media

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