SANEF blasts attack on media at Union Buildings

BY CHARL BOSCH - OCTOBER 27, 2015

The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has expressed concern over the threats shown to local and international media covering last week’s student protest march outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

A cameraman from the BBC and eNCA suffered injuries when protestors hurled rocks at riot police standing behind a metal fence in the park beyond the precinct of the buildings.

Images captured by eNCA journalists, who were standing a short distance from the police, showed students trying to break down the fence with rocks before some started hurling water bottles and pieces of wood as the protest turned violent.

Rocks then started flying with one smashing the windows of a parked stage truck and another the portable toilet where the crew were later forced to report form. Moments later, as the they were existing the toilet, a third rocks cracked the camera’s lens and hit the aforementioned camera man, forcing police to evacuate them as the fence came down and razor wire got deployed.

Speaking in a statement, SANEF Executive Director Mathatha Tsedu said heavy handed tactics were also shown by police to journalists from the SABC, Eyewitness News and 702, with some even being forced to delete images taken of the carnage.

“Equipment was damaged and there were also reports of theft. Any attempt to violate the freedoms now entrenched in our Constitution, either by the authorities or members of the public, must be condemned with the contempt it deserves,” Tsedu said.

 

IMAGE sourced from eNCA