Sanef condemns attacks on journalists covering student protests

Sanef condemns attacks on journalists covering student protests

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) on Thursday said it is outraged by the attacks on journalists during student protests at the University of Johannesburg last night.

Wits students march_jacanews
Photo: Maryke Vermaak

Several media outlets reported that private security officials hired by the university attacked journalists and students at the Doornkloof and Kingsway campuses.


"In one chilling incident, a photographer was punched repeatedly in the head, hit with a stick in the stomach, and then pepper sprayed at close range," Sanef said in a statement.


The forum said a group of reporters were surrounded on Joe Slovo drive, ordered to sit in the road and then pepper sprayed. A photographer was also hit in the face with a plank-like object.


"We strongly condemn this brutal response by the university security team, aimed at journalists who posed no threat and who were merely executing their duty of gathering information for the benefit of society. Yesterday's incidents are in line with a discomforting trend we have noticed where journalists become targets of private security while covering public protests," it said. 


Sanef said it has raised its concerns with the University Vice Chancellor Dr Ihron Rensburg, who condemned the actions and promised to ensure the security teams respect the right of journalists to do their work.

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