08 March 2019
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) condemns the manhandling of Rekord journalist Reitumetse Mahope. He was manhandled by private security guards while taking pictures during a protest at the Huis Davidzt retirement home in central Pretoria on Thursday.
Workers at the home have been on a year-long protest complaining about not having official contracts and not being registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
Mahope was outside the premises taking pictures of protestors when the private security guards suddenly turned on him and pushed and shoved him with shields and batons. His phone was knocked out of his hands and damaged in the ensuing scuffle.
Mahope has now opened a case of common assault and malicious damage to property at the Pretoria Central police station. There is video footage of the incident that has been widely circulated on social media.
SANEF calls on all private sector security companies to educate their employees on the role of the media and our Constitution that protects freedom of expression, freedom of the media and access to information.
SANEF will monitor the case and continue to champion the cause of independent journalism and to support journalists under threat and to support the deepening of our democracy.
SANEF is concerned that attacks against journalists are escalating and calls on stakeholders in business, politics and in our communities to allow journalists to do their work freely and fairly.
Should any person, organization or political party feel genuinely aggrieved by a story or any actions taken by the media, they should follow the correct channels to address their grievances i.e. lay a complaint with the Press Council or the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa.
For more information contact:
Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson, 083 399 2852
Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director, 082 926 6404
Katy Katopodis – SANEF Deputy Chair, 082 805 7022
Mary Papayya – SANEF Chair Media Freedom, 082 379 4957
Sam Mkokeli – SANEF Media Freedom, 082 084 2051
Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Media Freedom, 073 404 1415