UJ journalism students victims of alleged intimidation

2016-11-19 10:00
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Johannesburg – Police and private security allegedly threatened a University of Johannesburg journalism student who was at the scene of a murder, the South African Communication Association said on Friday. 

Two police officers visited Magnificent Ndebele, 20, in his residence between 01:00 and 02:00 last Thursday and confiscated his equipment, including his cellphone and laptop without providing a warrant, Sacomm said in a statement.

Ndebele was on the scene when a private security guard allegedly shot and killed Kelvin Baloyi at a student residence in central Johannesburg in the early hours of Saturday, November 5. Ndebele recorded images.

“As journalism and media educators, we deplore the actions of police in their unlawful confiscation of a student journalist’s equipment and what is clearly targeted harassment of the student journalist after he captured scenes of a crime.

“We are deeply concerned about the ongoing intimidation, harassment, and abuse of both professional and student journalists.”

The university could not immediately be reached for comment.

While Ndebele was reporting on student protests at UJ in recent months, police and private security had allegedly threatened him on various occasions.

In addition, private security guards had prevented several UJ student journalists from entering campuses, Sacomm said.  

In September, a group of journalists were allegedly beaten with batons and pepper-sprayed at UJ’s Doornkloof and Kingsway campuses.

Guards assaulted and pepper-sprayed filmmaker Sipho Singiswa without provocation on a UJ campus on September 28. He filmed the attack.
 
Sacomm reminded police of SAPS Standing Order 156, which instructs officers to treat media representatives with respect, courtesy and dignity, even when provoked. They may not delete a journalist’s photographs or footage, and may not confiscate equipment without a warrant.

In August, UJ academics held a picket calling for campus security to stop attacks on students. Students had called for private security on campus to be dismissed.

Read more on:    university of johannesburg  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  media

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