Sanef condemns attacks on journalists by Zuma supporters in Nkandla

SABC journalist Samkele Maseko was physically manhandled by one supporter yesterday after one of his earlier broadcasts was interrupted by angry people flouting lockdown regulations.

Supporters of former President Jacob have gathered in Nkandla ahead of his address on 4 July 2021. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) on Sunday said it was outraged by the brazen physical and verbal abuse of journalists by former President Jacob Zuma's supporters outside his Nkandla home.

Zuma was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to 15 months in jail after he refused to testify at the state capture inquiry.

Since then, his supporters have been gathering outside his Nkandla home, saying the police would have to go through them first if they want to arrest the former president.

SABC journalist Samkele Maseko was physically manhandled by one supporter on Sunday after one of his earlier broadcasts was interrupted by angry people flouting lockdown regulations.

"These kinds of attacks are a direct breach of the South African constitution that protects media freedom & access to information and by extension the right for journalists to do their work," Sanef said in statement.

Sanef said since Friday, journalists had come under severe attacks while waiting for law enforcement agencies to execute the Constitutional Court ruling.

"The impunity in which the Zuma supporters have acted says a lot about the climate that has been enabled for such attacks to happen without consequence. We urge Zuma, & senior leaders supporting him, to curtail and condemn such attacks by calling on supporters to stop."

The forum said apart from supporters swearing and hurling verbal taunts at journalists, Edward Zuma, also threatened to burn one of the media vehicles parked outside his father's house.

"Apart from supporters swearing and hurling verbal taunts at journalists, Edward Zuma, (Zuma’s eldest son) also threatened to burn one of the media vehicles parked outside his father’s house. We remind all supporters and the Zuma family and other former ANC leaders who also pitched up to support the former President that journalists have a right to cover the events. They were not trespassing, nor did they breach any privacy or court regulations," the statement added.

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