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The South African National Editors’ Forum strongly condemns the harassment of a University of Johannesburg student journalist this week by police officers who visited him in the dead of night to confiscate his equipment.
Magnificent Ndebele, 20, is one of the people who witnessed a confrontation between students and private security officials at one of the student accommodation facilities early this month where one of the students, Kelvin Baloyi, was shot at point-blank range and died on the scene. Ndebele, a second year student, took pictures during the incident.
Two officers visited him between 1am and 2am on Thursday (Nov 10) at his university residence and without any warrant confiscated his equipment, including his cellphone and laptop.
They accused him of inciting violence and interfering with their investigation. They also warned him that his movements were being watched.
We recently raised our concerns about this hostility and unlawful actions of police officers when we met Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Johannes Khomotso Phahlane. It remains a deep concern that many police officers act in a manner that is contrary to the country’s laws and constitution.
We view Ndebele’s harassment is in the broader context of increasing police hostility and intimidation towards journalists.
As Sanef we strongly condemn this blatant bulling (bullying) and illegal actions by the police.
We also call for the immediate release of his equipment.
For Inquiries:
Katy Katopodis – Deputy Chairperson 082 805 7022
Mahlatse Gallens – Chairperson 083 399-2852