Sanef condemns attack on journalist

2013-11-21 14:38
Journalists film outside the residence of Nelson Mandela. (Rebecca Blackwell, AP)

Journalists film outside the residence of Nelson Mandela. (Rebecca Blackwell, AP)

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Johannesburg - The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has condemned an apparent assault of a multimedia journalist, allegedly by a member of President Jacob Zuma's VIP protection unit.

"Sanef expects civil servants, and especially those charged with accompanying the president on public activities, to respect the rights and duties of the media and treat journalists with respect," it said in a statement on Thursday.

On Monday, Eyewitness News journalist Reinart Toerien opened a case of common assault against Zuma's VIP unit.

Toerien was allegedly assaulted outside former president Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton, Johannesburg.

EWN said Toerien was filming from the pavement when the motorcade exited the driveway.

One of the security guards allegedly reached out of a black 4X4 window and told him to "voetsek" before slapping Toerien and shoving the video camera.

This was recorded and put up on the EWN website.

EWN editor-in-chief Katy Katopodis condemned the conduct, and said it was shocking that Zuma's security appeared to believe they could act with such "impunity".

Sanef said it supported Katopodis in calling for a full investigation and disciplinary action.

It said there were a number of attacks on journalists by officials and citizens in recent months. "Sanef also approves of the action of Toerien in laying criminal charges against the VIP protection unit member at the Norwood police station," it said,

"Toerien recorded the incident on video and the vehicle registration number is clearly visible."

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  media

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