News24 journalist to be charged with trespassing for covering campus protests

Durban – News24 journalist Kaveel Singh will be charged with trespassing for covering student protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus.

Singh was detained by private security and police after his cellphone was confiscated and a video he took with his cellphone was deleted.

An argument ensued and his phone was handed back.

He was shoved and pushed around and forced into a van belonging to the private security company MI 7.

Singh was taken to the Westville police station where he was being charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.

UKZN spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka told News24: "This is absolute rubbish. The man was doing his job.

"I have spoken to our Director of Risk Management and he has informed the police that this cannot stand. It cannot work like this".

'Flagrant abuse of power'

News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson said: "It is outrageous for the police to charge journalists with trespassing for doing their jobs. University grounds are open spaces and we were reporting on a story of national interest.

"This is another flagrant abuse of power by trigger happy police and metro police officers and private security. Our priority is now to secure Singh's release, but we will certainly not leave the matter here."

Earlier this week, journalists were attacked while covering student protests at the University of Johannesburg.

The SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) released a statement, saying private security officials hired by the University of Johannesburg had attacked journalists and students at the Doornkloof and Kingsway campuses.

"We strongly condemn this brutal response by the university security team, aimed at journalists who posed no threat and who were merely executing their duty of gathering information for the benefit of society," said Sanef executive director Mathatha Tsedu.

WATCH: News24 journalist arrested while covering UKZN fee protests

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