'Journalist attacked outside Parly must lay charges'

It’s alleged five officers dragged the journalist to the ground and forced him to delete pictures.

It’s alleged five officers dragged the journalist to the ground and forced him to delete pictures. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has encouraged a j ournalist, who was manhandled allegedly by police outside Parliament yesterday, to lay criminal charges against the officers involved.

Moments before President Jacob Zuma was due to answer questions in Parliament, Media 24's Jan Gerber was blocked by five unidentified policemen in white shirts who allegedly assaulted him.

The 33-year-old Parliamentary reporter was taking photographs of people dressed in white shirts and black pants standing underneath a police flag across the road from Parliament.

It's understood the five dragged him to the ground and forced him to delete his photographs.

Two of them crossed the road and asked him what he was doing and he explained he was a journalist.

The pair was then joined by three men and the group tried to take Gerber's camera but he resisted.

He sustained scratches and bruises during the incident.

Sanef says Gerber should consider instituting civil action as a strong message to the police, that they're not above the law.

The organisation's Adriaan Basson says they will also raise their grievances on the matter.

"Sanef will take up this matter with the office of General Phiya Phiyega, and we will lodge a formal complaint. We also encourage the reporter concerned to lay criminal charges against police officers who assaulted him and manhandled him."