The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) says the misogynist statement that the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi made condoning the harassment of a female TV journalist warrants an apology to the reporter, Nobesuthu Hejana, and the women of South Africa.
In a statement, SANEF says Ndlozi’s tweet claiming that ‘merely touching her is not harassment’ and that a touch must be ‘violent, invasive or harmful’ to be harassment is unacceptable. reports.
Sanef says, “It is unacceptable for anybody to touch another person without their consent, and that in a country with high rates of violence against women, like South Africa. It is horrifying that a member of parliament deems it acceptable for a group of men to harass a woman.”
.@eNCA reporter, Nobesuthu Hejana and cameraman, Crescendo Louw were reporting unhindered at the protest when EFF chair Veronica Mente arrived & a supporter shouted forcing them to leave. https://t.co/QSNoKoSrHd @sbungalwa@nwabisa_mak@hlatseentle@MaryPapayya@AIP_RSA
— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) September 7, 2020
The organisation adds that it is equally horrific that Ndlozi thinks is acceptable to tell women what constitutes harassment.
In a video of the event, EFF supporters are seen shoving and pushing the reporter during a live crossing.
Sanef says it’s ironic that this incident occurred during a protest fighting for the dignity of black women. Its reiterated that women in media should be able to do their jobs, free of intimidation and harassment.
The incident happened on Tuesday in Cape Town where journalist, Hejana is seen covering a story where a group of EFF supporters were protesting the publishing of a racist advert by retailer Clicks. In the clip, eNCA says Hejana was man-handled by EFF members.
Ndlozi tweeted on Wednesday morning saying the push was not harrasment as it was not forceful.
But they are telling her that she can be here, but not allowed to talk to EFF members. It means she was trying to interview them
I really do not see harassment here. Merely Touching her is not harassment. The touch has to be violent, invasive, or harmful to become harassment! https://t.co/dzkglCGVcM
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) September 9, 2020
Many have strongly condemned Ndlozi’s words and deem his views as a problem in the fight against GBV.
Justifying the harassment of Nobesuthu Hejana as mere touching is not only further harassment, but is another public display of how men will downplay the harm their words and actions cause. You can’t say you’re fighting GBV on the one hand and ‘merely touch’ on the other.
— Khaya Dlanga (@khayadlanga) September 9, 2020
Dr Ndlozi should apologize to Nobesuthu .
— Akhona (@templet04415057) September 9, 2020