The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) has condemned the physical and verbal abuse of journalists allegedly by supporters of former President Jacob Zuma outside his home in Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Since Friday, journalists have come under severe attacks while waiting for law enforcement agencies to execute a Constitutional Court ruling.
Zuma was given until Sunday to hand himself over to the police and begin serving his 15-month sentence.
The court ruling found him guilty of contempt of court.
Former President Jacob Zuma’s contempt case judgment:
Thousands of supporters and former African National Congress (ANC) leaders flocked to Nkandla to support Zuma at the weekend.
On Sunday, SABC journalist Samkele Maseko said one of Zuma’s supporters manhandled him.
SANEF executive director Reggy Moalusi says, “We feel very strongly against it. We are dismayed because that is not the way to treat journalists and especially journalists who are there to do their work.”
“For journalists to be hurled insults at, bullied and harassed, we condemn that and we continue to plead with South Africans to recognise the work journalists do and let them do their work. Whenever you [members of the public] have any complaints about a journalist there are ways to complain, like the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) and we feel very strongly about that,” adds Moalusi.
Zuma supporters pour in their numbers at Nkandla: