The SA National Editors' ForumÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Sanef) has learnt with shock and sadness the shooting of a Pretoria news reporter by the police during a protest demonstration of workers and students at TUT, according to a statement.
Our information is that police fired rubber bullets indiscriminately to protesters after a member of the protesting crowd threw an object at them.
In the process, Mogomotsi Magome, a staff reporter at the Pretoria News, was shot three times and seriously injured. He was taken to hospital for treatment. Five other people were reported to have sustained injuries during the shooting.
SANEF would like to urge the police management to ensure that the police should not readily resort to the use of force to deal with demonstrators. It would appear that the use of rubber bullets to respond to an incident in which a member of the crowd had thrown an object at the police falls within the ambit of the use of excessive force.
There is a need to better training that will assist the police to respond more appropriately to protesters.
Furthermore, we urge reporters to be extra careful when covering explosive situations to avoid physical harm.
SANEF calls on the Independent Complaints Directorate to investigate the incident and make its findings public. If there is any wrong doing on the part of any police officer, appropriate action should be taken.
Issued by: SA National Editors' Forum (SANEF)
For further comment please contact:
Khathu Mamaila ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ SANEF Media Freedom Chairperson: 083 274 3941
Mary Papayya ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ SANEF Secretary General: 082 379 4957