Editors condemn 'intimidation of journalists' by EFF supporters
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has condemned as “deplorable” the intimidation of an eNCA television news crew by supporters of the EFF in Cape Town.
The crew was covering a protest in Tokai on Thursday.
“A video circulating on social media shows the threats being made to the eNCA team. They were told to leave, and one supporter even threatened them with a sjambok while another is heard saying, ‘we gonna teach you all a good lesson’," Sanef said in a statement.
“We believe that the deplorable actions of intimidation against eNCA anchor Ayesha Ismail and cameraman Mario Pedro have severe implications for journalism.”
Hostility by party supporters towards eNCA dates back to December 2019 when the party declared that Daily Maverick, its investigative unit Scorpio, and independent investigative journalism unit amaBhungane would no longer be “allowed” to cover EFF events or briefings. eNCA took a decision to stand in solidarity with its colleagues, and was as a result “banned” from the party's events.
“Sanef calls on the leadership of the EFF, as a political party in a parliamentary democracy, to condemn such behaviour. The media is an essential cog in the promotion of democracy. It acts as a mirror to society and, as such, is opened to listening to — and publicising — all points of view. Political formations that are, in any sense, democratic, should engage with — and not abuse and shun — the media,” said Sanef.