WATCH | SABC crew attacked, robbed of equipment in Schweizer-Reneke

2019-10-01 13:39
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An SABC news crew covering protests over the closing of the Mamusa municipality in the North West province were assaulted and robbed of equipment in Schweizer-Reneke on Monday. 

According to the national broadcaster, the crew was approached by a group who accused them of being "biased" in their reporting. 

SABC reporter Zebilon Maine reportedly said: "A group of people came into [the] guesthouse where we were working at and they started to cause a fracas."

A cameraman was reportedly physically assaulted, while others were verbally abused. Reporter Sellwane Khakhau said the three men who attacked them were unhappy that the crew did not interview certain individuals they felt should have been spoken to. They were also upset that an ANC official had been interviewed. Khakhau said the ANC was interviewed because it was in charge of the municipalities in the area. 

Maine reportedly said that, through the intervention of the police, the crew managed to get their equipment back. 

'Deeply worrying'

The cameraman has reportedly opened a case of assault and crimen injuria.

South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) executive director Kate Skinner told News24 that the incident was of "absolute concern". 

"This is deeply worrying. There is a trend that journalists are increasingly under attack in communities, while covering service delivery protests - these incidents are definitely increasing."  

The office of the chief whip of the ANC in the North West legislature said it was "dismayed by the unfortunate incident".

"This unfortunate incident constitutes the attack of the highest order on the freedom of the press and must be met with the full might of the law," it said in a statement. 

In July, two journalists were manhandled by authorities during protest action in Durban, News24 reported. 

In March, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu attacked Netwerk24 journalist Adrian de Kock at Parliament. Shivambu apologised for the incident shortly thereafter. 

 - Compiled by Riaan Grobler

Watch the footage of the attack on the SABC crew here

Read more on:    sabc  |  mahikeng  |  media  |  crime
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