Journo at­tack: EFF is charged

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Cit­i­zen re­porter

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.

Sanef

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