Manhandling Of Journos Condemned During Pro-Zandile Gumede Protest

Zandile Gumede
Suspended eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: eThekwini Municipality

DURBAN – There has been widespread condemnation of the violence meted out to journalists by eThekwini metro police officers and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

On Thursday, while covering demonstrations by pro-Zandile Gumede protestors in Durban, eNCA journalist Sphamandla Goge was manhandled by officers who demanded that he erase footage taken on his cellphone.

Independent Media’s Sihle Mavuso was arrested and later released.

The ANC provincial leadership has placed Mayor Gumede on extended special leave amid charges of fraud and corruption relating to a R208-million solid waste tender.

Journalist Sihle Mavuso has told Eyewitness News that he suffered bruises to his leg and elbow at the hands of the police yesterday.

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has called on the eThekwini municipality to investigate.

Sanef has noted that this was not the first time journalists have been violently treated while covering a story related to Gumede and that at previous protests, journalists were verbally threatened by supporters of the mayor.

KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance MEC Sipho Hlomuka has also expressed his concern and has called for officials within his department to submit a full report.

The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal has called on the KZN Community Safety MEC Mxolisi Kaunda to immediately discipline all officers found to have used force inappropriately against journalists and protestors.