The National Press Club on Thursday (06/03/2014) condemned the manhandling of journalists by the EFF outside the High Court in Pretoria.
“The incident happened on Wednesday when a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters apparently tripped over the chain fencing on Church Square, hit his head, and died on the scene,” it said in a statement.
“Members of the media on the scene were, in a volatile manner, pushed away and threatened that their cameras would be confiscated and broken. Some were even abused with death threats.”
The incident happened while the party sought an interdict against having to pay a deposit to the Independent Electoral Commission when submitting lists of candidates for the upcoming elections.
The EFF took President Jacob Zuma, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, and the IEC to court. Political parties have to pay a deposit of more than R600,000 – R45,000 per province and R200,000 to fully contest the polls nationally. On Tuesday, Malema said his party would not pay the amount.
The club said the incident could affect relations with the party.
“This incident does not auger well for future media relations with the EFF – how can you manhandle in this manner the very people you depend on to communicate your message to the broader population?
“The National Press Club condemns these actions, in a country where the fight for media freedom was long and arduous.” – Sapa