The South African National Editors’ Forum held a meeting with the leadership of the Joburg Metro Police Department on Monday June 1, 2015 to discuss the need to improve relations between journalists and members of JMPD.
The meeting took place after Sanef expressed concern about the conduct of members of JMPD who manhandled eNCA cameraman Pierre le Roux and Beeld photographer Cornel van Heerden outside the South Gauteng High Court last week.
Le Roux and Van Heerden had seen the JMPD members apprehending an alleged drunk driver and approached the scene to film for a story. A scuffle ensued and in the process Le Roux’s equipment was damaged. The journalists were physically prevented from doing their work.
Chief Superintendent of the JMPD Wayne Minnaar and Phumelelo Maphumulo, JMPD director of internal affairs, assured Sanef that an investigation had already been launched into the conduct of the officers.
eNCA editors Ben Said and Andries Cornelissen, who were present at the meeting, undertook to cooperate with the JMPD’s investigation into the matter.
Sanef will await the outcome of the investigation.
Minnaar and Maphumulo said preventing journalists from doing their work was not part of JMPD policy. They said the JMPD recognised the important role the media plays in gathering and disseminating information in the public interest.
The meeting agreed that a forum will be organised to enable JMPD members and senior journalists to share perspectives about each other’s’ roles.
JMPD Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar (082 559 3882)
Sanef Chairman Mpumelelo Mkhabela (082 296 2541)