SABC 8 journalist shot in face with pellet gun

2017-01-27 09:05

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Cape Town - The SABC inquiry has heard that SABC 8 journalist Suna Venter was shot in the face with a pellet gun last week, following continued threats of intimidation against her.

DA MP Phumzile van Damme revealed to the ad hoc committee on Friday that she received an SMS from Venter to say she discovered that she had been shot in the face by an unknown individual with a pellet gun on January 15, 2017*.

She initially reported to the police that she had been hit with a "heavy object" while near her car, before slamming the car door and driving away.

On Monday, a doctor operated on her wound after it deteriorated and removed two pellets belonging to an air pistol.

She has updated the police. The lead investigator in her case told her the modus operandi did not match a hijacking or mugging.

Intimidation

Committee chairperson Vincent Smith said Venter had alerted him to her condition as well earlier this week.

IFP MP Narend Singh suggested the committee write an urgent letter to all the relevant authorities, including the police, that the matter be addressed immediately.

ACDP MP Steve Swart said the matter is very serious, seems to be continuing, and that a risk assessment needs to be done urgently.

ANC MP Hlomane Chauke said Parliament needs to do something before someone gets killed, and that the committee does not want people accusing it of not having done anything.

DA MP Mike Waters said the "shooting" happened hours after Venter and SABC 8 journalists sent written testimony to the inquiry, and it is thus a clear case of intimidation.

Waters said acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane should be called in and must address Parliament publicly regarding the "rot" at the SABC and threats against journalism.

Venter was part of a group of eight SABC journalists who were fired, and seven later reinstated, for objecting to former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s policy of no longer airing footage of violent protests.

Smith said he would write to Police Minister Nathi Nhleko to ask for protection for threatened witnesses.

*Update: Venter told News24 on Friday that she made a mistake in the date she sent Van Damme. The date has been changed from November 15 to January 15 due to the incorrect date in the SMS below.

Read more on:    sabc  |  parliament 2017  |  media
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