The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) has reacted in horror, after they were alerted to a fractious altercation on Thursday. While leading an anti-racism protest in Tokai, Cape Town, a handful of EFF supporters were seen intimidating eNCA crew members, chasing reporters away from the event, and using a sjambok to threaten them.
‘Sjambok used’ to intimidate eNCA staff
Ayesha Ismail and Mario Pedro were caught up in the ugly scenes. The protest was organised after a local resident was accused of poisoning a tree, allegedly so ‘black children could not pick the fruit’. The entire furore has caused divisions in the community, but things got out of hand yesterday – and SANEF immediately jumped in to protect the broadcasters.
“The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) strongly condemns the unlawful and intimidatory actions by supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on eNCA journalists. We believe that the deplorable actions of intimidation against eNCA anchor Ayesha Ismail and cameraman Mario Pedro have severe implications for journalism”
“One supporter even threatened the CREW with a sjambok while another is heard saying “we gonna teach you all a good lesson. Given the actions recorded on Thursday, SANEF calls on the leadership of the EFF, as a political party in a parliamentary democracy, to condemn such behaviour.” | SANEF statement
Watch: EFF supporters threaten eNCA journalists
EFF ‘not speaking’ with blacklisted broadcaster
The EFF and eNCA aren’t on good terms, and that is putting it mildly. Ever since a bitter feud erupted in 2019 – where the broadcaster boycotted a party conference due to bans imposed on other media houses – the Red Berets have made no secret of their disdain for the channel. In turn, eNCA has been banned from speaking to EFF members.
However, one of their reporters secretly bagged an interview with Julius Malema last week, without the political firebrand knowing who he was speaking to. Juju has since condemned the ‘desperate act’, and in turn, the rift has expanded.
SANEF strongly condemns the unlawful and intimidatory actions by supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters #EFFPresser on eNCA Journalists. The supporters harassed & prevented eNCA journalists from covering a protest in Tokai, Cape Town earlier today https://t.co/FKAxhSFmLR
— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) June 10, 2021