The SA National Editors' Forum has condemned the outrageous assault on a
Drum journalist who was covering the unrest that has occurred in
Bloemfontein after the story of the University of the Free State Reitz
hostel video had broken, according to a media release,
The assault occurred while the journalist, Themba Makamo, was in a cafe in Second Avenue shortly before midnight on Thursday, February 28.
According to people present a burly white man who was said not to be a student accosted Makamo at his table, then followed him into the bathroom where he headbutted, kicked and punched him in the face. He turned to others in the bathroom and asked if they ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œhou van kaffersÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â (do they like kaffirs)?
Makamo has laid a charge of assault at a nearby police station and later received stitches for a wound at a hospital.
The owners of the cafe, Irna and Theunis NortjÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©, expressed their regret at the incident and have begun working with the police to try to establish the identity of the man.
Makamo, who turned 26 that day, said he and a colleague, Huisgenoot journalist Lucia Swart, had been warned about violence near the campus ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œbut I did not expect thisÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
Sanef deplores the racial incidents that have occurred at the university and the attack on the reporter, which give credence to views that racialism is still rampant in parts of SA.
Sanef calls on the police to track down the criminal and bring him to justice.
Issued by: SA National Editors' Forum (SANEF)
For more comment please contact:
Jovial Rantao ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ SANEF Chairperson: 082 446 6008
Raymond Louw ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ SANEF Media Freedom Sub-Committee Chair: 011 646 8790 / 082 446 5155