Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Deputy President Floyd Shivambu has issued a statement saying he regrets the incident in which he is seen pushing a journalist in the face within the parliamentary precinct.
Shivambu claims in the EFF statement that he did not realise at the time that the man was a journalist. This is despite the journalist involved, Adrian De Kock, having a camera slung over his neck.
He says he will send an official apology for what he calls the “scuffle”.
He says he acknowledges that he should have handled the matter differently.
Shivambu denies the “scuffle” was an assault on the journalist or on media freedom.
Earlier, the National Editor’s Forum (Sanef) expressed shock at what it calls the “attack” on De Kock.
A video of the incident is trending on social media. It shows Shivambu pushing the photographer’s face while two other men apparently try to seize the journalist’s camera.
Sanef says such behaviour undermines the crucial role journalists play in a democracy.
Sanef says it welcomes the decision by De Kock to report the matter to the police.