Sanef calls for meeting with police leadership after attacks on journos

Sanef says in all incidents its alleged officers either failed to intervene as journalists were assaulted.

Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has called for a meeting with police leadership after three separate incidents of journalists being attacked, while the police looked on, over the past week.

Sanef says in all incidents its alleged police officers either failed to intervene as journalists were assaulted or assisted the assailants.

The forum says it's disturbed by what it calls "patent disregard" of a police officer's duty to protect the public, including journalists.

Sanef's Mathatha Tsedu says in the past week, four journalists have been assaulted.

"This happens after agreements have been reached about how journalists should behave and how police themselves should behave."

On Thursday, Sowetan photographer Tiro Ramatlhatse was attacked inside a courtroom while covering a case in the North West, only to be rescued by a security guard and not police.

The next day, SABC journalist Jacques Steenkamp was kidnapped by alleged drug dealers who held him hostage and stole R5,000 from his account, with claims that police assisted them.

In the latest incident, photographers from The Citizen Nigel Sibanda and Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni were attacked by residents with machetes and knobkerries while covering a funeral in the Eastern Cape.