The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has condemned the shooting of Newzroom Afrika reporter, Mweli Masilela, while covering a protest by taxi operators in Kanyamazane township outside Mbombela, Mpumalanga on Monday.
Just got shot while covering the #TaxiShutdown in KaNyamazane in Mpumalanga. Police fired rubber bullets just a few minutes after arriving in the area to disperse taxi drivers who were blocking the road leading to the township. 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/uuh9ZLqptC
— Mweli Masilela (@mwelimasilela) June 29, 2020
Masilela was shot and injured when police fired rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
There was a standoff between police and taxi operators over the decision to load taxis at 100 percent capacity.
Masilela has opened a case against the police.
Last year, Masilela was attacked while out on a story in Vosman near Emalahleni. He was violently accosted by a group of men while investigating the death of a 16-year-old boy who allegedly fell into an open mine pit.
Masilela was accompanied by community members who had raised concerns about open mine pits. The men who attacked him forcefully took his camera and deleted his footage. They also took his car keys. Eventually, he got his equipment back and was told to leave the area immediately.
Assault of journalist
In May, a former SABC journalist was allegedly assaulted by members of the public order police.
Paul Nthoba, who is based in Ficksburg, Free State and owns a community newspaper was working on a story about police visibility in the area and took a photo of police patrolling the area.
The police officers then saw him taking pictures and allegedly started insulting and beating him.
In the video below, Paul Nthabo says he is in hiding fearing the police:
INFOGRAPHIC: Reporting security forces: