JOHANNESBURG – An incident were Bloomberg journalist Sam Mkokeli was forcibly removed with unwarranted force from the ANC’s national elective conference in Nasrec has triggered backlash on security deployed at the venue.
In the video, the SA National Editors' Forum member is seen being pushed and his accreditation removed by the police, without any particular justification.
PowerFM's Iman Rapetti and Fin24's Jan de Lange tried to intervene to find the police's motive for the harassment.
According to a report by ANN7, other journalists were reportedly punched and a disabled journalist claims they were pushed down on their prosthetic legs.
Female journalists have also reported that they were groped on their breasts.
These reports have provoked the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef), which demanded a meeting with the ANC’s leadership about the incidents.
“The ANC has requested journalists who have been ill-treated to report all incidents as soon as they happen so that they can attend to them. The ANC has also pledged to investigate today’s matter and speak to security about incidents of inappropriate behaviour and touching by marshals,” Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase said.
Mahlase said the meeting was productive and “the ANC apologised for what happened today [Tuesday]”.
The incident was roundly condemned by fellow journalists at the event and by many in the industry.
Walk out! Journalists boycotting Cyril’s media doorstop.@msmkokeli’s accreditation revoked. Waited 45 minutes for Cyril in the sun.— Lester Kiewit (@lesterkk) December 19, 2017
The security clampdown at Nasrec has undermined journalists throughout #Anc54 and undermined the public's right to know. But ejection of Sam Mkokeli is an extreme outrage! Will @DPRamaphosa do anything to address this? https://t.co/F8ddYwZNbh— Right2Know (@r2kcampaign) December 19, 2017
Additinal reporting ANA