'It was shocking behaviour' – journo on Floyd Shivambu's scuffle with photographer

2018-03-20 12:38

Cape Town – Netwerk24 has condemned the attack on one of its photographers, by EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu outside Parliament on Tuesday morning.

Shivambu was caught on camera with his hand around the throat of Netwerk24 photographer Adrian de Kock, while another man had his hands on De Kock and his camera.

De Kock said he went over to Shivambu to get a comment about the disciplinary hearing of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille when the scuffle started.

"I went over to Floyd to try and get comment from him for the Patricia de Lille hearing, just to see if, as the opposition, he has any comment," De Kock said after the incident.

"I went to him and I said to him: 'Do you have any comment,' and he said: 'No, you must delete the picture,' and I said: 'I can't delete the pictures'.

"And then he started grabbing my camera, trying to delete the pictures… He went for my camera and then tried to break my camera," De Kock added.

He said he would report the incident to the police.

In a video, which Cape Argus journalist Jason Felix posted on Twitter, De Kock can be heard shouting multiple times: "Leave my stuff alone." As more journalists approach, Shivambu leaves De Kock alone and walks away.

Netwerk24 editor Henriette Loubser condemned the attack "in the strongest terms".

"Journalists should be free to do their work without being intimidated or attacked," she said.

Shivambu cut News24's phone calls on Tuesday morning and responded with an SMS, saying that he couldn't talk. He asked News24 to text him instead.

When News24 asked him for comment, he responded that he was busy in a meeting.

'No need' for assault

News24 reporter Tammy Petersen, who witnessed the attack on Tuesday, said she was shocked by the aggression.

"It didn't look like there was any provocation. It was shocking behaviour," she said.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi could not immediately be reached for comment.

Parliamentary Press Gallery Association (PGA) chairperson Andisiwe Makinana said the association was "appalled by the assault" on De Kock.

"Any journalist working in the parliamentary precinct, on assignment and outside any restricted area, has the full right to photograph and ask questions of any public representative," she said.

"There was no need for Mr Shivambu to assault Mr De Kock," Makinana said.

She added that the PGA would write to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and the EFF to ask for an apology from Shivambu and for disciplinary action to be taken against him.

SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase said Shivambu's behaviour was unacceptable.

"Sanef condemns the incident in the strongest possible terms and is extremely disappointed by Shivambu’s actions," she said.

"This type of intolerant behaviour is unacceptable in a democracy.

"As a member of Parliament, he is entrusted with protecting our hard-earned media freedom and freedom of expression, as is enshrined in our Constitution. He should lead by example and champion journalists’ protected right to do their work without fear or favour," she said.

Read more on:    eff  |  netwerk24  |  floyd ­shivambu  |  cape town  |  parliament 2018  |  media

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