The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is appalled by the misogynistic statement made by EFF leader Mbuyiseni Ndlozi condoning the harassment of a female journalist by EFF supporters.
Ndlozi owes ENCA journalist, Nobesuthu Hejana and the women of South Africa an apology.
SANEF is also calling on the Gender Commission and Parliament to investigate the matter.
Ndlozi tweeted in part, “That merely touching her is not harassment. The touch has to be violent, invasive or harmful to become harassment.”
Ndlozi was responding to a video showing ENCA journalist Hejana being harassed and intimidated by EFF supporters protesting outside a Clicks store in Goodwood mall on Tuesday.
In the video EFF supporters are clearly seen aggressively shoving Hejana and pushing her during a live crossing.
While it is unacceptable for anyone to be touching another person without their consent, in a country like ours, with alarming cases of gender based violence, it is horrifying that a member of parliament finds it okay for a group of men, to be harassing a woman.
It is equally horrific that Ndlozi thinks it is okay to tell women what constitutes harassment.
It is ironic that the incident happened during a protest by EFF, fighting for the dignity of black women and they themselves harassed a black woman.
SANEF has been highlighting the plight of women journalists over the years, as they are often vulnerable at protests, rallies and other political events of various parties.
Women journalists have reported being groped, sexually harassed and have reported lude comments being made to them.
Political reporters in particular have also decried newsmakers commenting about the size of their bums and breasts, hitting on them and telling them what they should wear when coming for an interview.
SANEF calls on all male and female political leaders to urge their supporters to respect women journalists and allow them to do their work in safety, free from intimidation and harassment.
Note to Editors: The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is a non-profit organisation whose members are editors, senior journalists and journalism trainers from all areas of the South African media. We are committed to championing South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression and promoting quality, ethics and diversity in the South African media. We promote excellence in journalism through fighting for media freedom, writing policy submissions, research and education and training programmes. SANEF is not a union.
For more information please contact:
Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Chairperson (073) 404-1415
Adriaan Basson – SANEF Deputy Chairperson (082) 562-2113
Mahlatse Mahlase – Secretary General (083) 399-2852
Nwabisa Makunga – Treasurer (082) 555-1972
Mary Papayya – SANEF Media Freedom Chair (082) 379-4957
Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334
Katy Katopodis – SANEF Gauteng Convenor (082) 805-7022
Chiara Carter – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (082) 659-9162
Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director – (082) 926-6404