Journalist forced to delete pics by Parliament's 'white shirt' officers

2015-03-11 13:19
(Dan Calderwood, News24)

(Dan Calderwood, News24)

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Cape Town - Two hours before President Jacob Zuma was due to take the podium in the Assembly, journalist Jan Gerber was blocked by five unidentified “white shirts” while taking photographs of Public Order Policing vans outside Parliament.

Janet Heard, parliamentary editor for Media24, said he was dragged to the ground and made to delete his footage.

“He was roughed up too and has marks on his arms,” she said.

According to Heard, the five did not identify themselves, other than say they came from the VIP Protection Services.

Gerber described how went to take photographs of the eight vans outside Parliament, and saw the men in white shirts and black pants standing underneath a police flag. He thought it would make a nice photograph, but they disagreed.

"I was on the other side of Plein Street and two of the men then walked across the street and asked why I was taking photos. I said I was a journalist and a picture of people in white shirts and black trousers with a police flag is newsworthy, should anything happen later.

"They wanted to know who gave me permission to take pictures and said I could not take pictures of them and have to delete them. I refused and insisted as a journalist, I have a right to take photographs. They tried to grab my camera and I tried to protect it, almost as if it was a rugby ball in a scrum.

"In the process, they pushed me to the ground... They took my camera and wanted to delete the pictures, but did not know how to," Gerber said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  media  |  parliament 2015

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