Journo attack: EFF is charged
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has charged Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) second-in-command Floyd Shivambu for assaulting journalist Adrian de Kock in March last year.
Western Cape NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed that Shivambu will appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on December 5.
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) said: “This is a very good development because it will ensure that politicians and members of society who assault a journalist are held to account.
“And given the kind of attacks on journalists which are so prevalent, you want to ensure that people who attack journalists are held to account,” Sanef executive director Kate Skinner said.
Shivambu grabbed De Kock by the throat outside parliament when the journalist asked him for comment while taking a photo. The incident was filmed and went viral.
Another EFF MP was also seen manhandling the journalist.
The EFF issued an apology for the incident after Sanef said such conduct was unacceptable.
The Parliamentary Press Gallery Association also said it was appalled by the EFF members’ conduct.
Shivambu said in a statement that he regretted his conduct, which he blamed on having been in a hurry to get to a finance committee meeting, but he denied it was assault. He called it a “scuffle” and said he had not known De Kock was a journalist.
De Kock said at the time he had to go to a doctor for pain-relief injections and had physiotherapy for injuries to his back during the assault.
In a separate incident, EFF leader Julius Malema was also charged by the NPA yesterday for allegedly firing live ammunition into the air at a rally to celebrate the EFF’s fifth birthday in the Eastern Cape last year.
NPA Eastern Cape spokesperson Luxolo Tyali confirmed the charges in a statement, saying the EFF leader had been charged with five counts, including the unlawful possession of a firearm.
A video emerged in August last year of Malema firing what looks like a high-powered automatic rifle into the air at his party’s fifth birthday celebration at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, in the Eastern Cape.
Requests for comment from EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi were ignored.
It will ensure politicians and members of society who assault journalists are held to account.