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eThekwini mayor rejects claims after cops remove journalists from briefing

The reporters were forced to vacate by a group of armed police officers who claimed they were acting on instructions from Mayor Zandile Gumede.

FILE: Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

DURBAN – The office of the eThekwini Mayor has rejected claims that an instruction to send Durban Metro Police officers into the city hall chambers to physically remove journalists attending a Democratic Alliance (DA) briefing came from her.

The reporters were forced to vacate by a group of armed police officers who claimed they were acting on the instruction of Mayor Zandile Gumede.

Journalists who were trying to gain access to the chambers were also apparently prevented from entering the building and manhandled.

The mayor’s office says it will be investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has condemned what it's described as unconstitutional and chilling behaviour towards journalists.

Sanef KZN convenor Judy Sandison says, “It’s really not just the right way to go about things. If people or an organisation have a problem with a journalist, you contact the editor or they should speak to the correct authorities, like Sanef.”