Journalists face danger ‘far too often’

It is unacceptable that photographers and journalists find themselves in the line of fire so often, the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) said on Thursday.

Sanef was commenting on a report that a photographer of the Star was injured on Wednesday afternoon by a Red Ants security guard's rubber bullet.

"We understand that the Star will be laying criminal charges in relation to the shooting of Motshwari Mofokeng, and we fully support them in that decision," said Sanef chairperson Nic Dawes.

"Far too often photographers in particular and reporters in general find themselves under fire, and it is completely unacceptable [that] either security guards or the police should not only accidentally hit, but in some instances, as appears to be the case here, target journalists as they go about their work."

Criminal case
Mofokeng fell to the ground after being struck below the right shoulder, the Star reported.

He and other reporters from the paper were covering an eviction of illegal residents living in a building once used as a factory in Johannesburg.

Star editor Makhudu Sefara condemned the incident.

"The Star will exhaust every possible avenue to ensure that the man who shot Motshwari faces the full brunt of the law," he said.

"Too many photographers have been beaten and even shot in the line of duty recently. Yesterday [Wednesday] they picked the wrong newspaper. We intend making an example here and now, before one of our colleagues is killed."

The newspaper's lawyers helped Mofokeng open a criminal case. – Sapa

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