The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) said it is outraged by the misogynistic comments Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Mbuyiseni Ndlozi made regarding harassment. The editor’s forum has accused Ndlozi of condoning the harassment of a female journalist by the party’s supporters.
Broadcaster eNCA released video footage of EFF members chasing one of its journalists away during a Clicks protest in Goodwood on Tuesday 8 September. In the video, members can be seen touching her and pushing her, however, Ndlozi claims it was not harassment.
NDLOZI OWES ENCA JOURNALIST AND THE WOMEN OF SOUTH AFRICA AN APOLOGY – SANEF
Sanef said Ndlozi owes eNCA journalist Nobesuthu Hejana and the women of South Africa an apology. Sanef has also called on the Gender Commission and Parliament to investigate the matter further.
Ndlozi, who took to Twitter on Wednesday, said merely touching her was not harassment. “The touch has to be violent, invasive or harmful to become harassment,” he said.
“The Presidential Protection Unit has been pushing journalists since the days of Nelson Mandela. Journalists have never called this harassment; not a single journalist, senior or junior, has ever complained. An unarmed member of the EFF touches one journalist; you cry Harassment!” he added.
“In the video, EFF supporters are clearly seen aggressively shoving Hejana and pushing her during a live crossing. While it is unacceptable for anyone to be touching another person without their consent, in a country like ours, with alarming cases of gender-based violence, it is horrifying that a member of parliament finds it okay for a group of men, to be harassing a woman. It is equally horrific that Ndlozi thinks it is okay to tell women what constitutes harassment,” said Sanef.
“It is ironic that the incident happened during a protest by EFF, fighting for the dignity of black women and they themselves harassed a black woman,” it added.
CALLS FOR RESPECT OF FEMALE JOURNALISTS
Sanef said it has been highlighting the plight of women journalists over the years, as they are often vulnerable at protests, rallies and other political events of various parties.
“Women journalists have reported being groped, sexually harassed and have reported [r]ude comments being made to them,” it said.
“Political reporters, in particular, have also decried newsmakers commenting about the size of their bums and breasts, hitting on them and telling them what they should wear when coming for an interview,” it added.
Sanef has called on all male and female political leaders to urge their supporters to respect women journalists and allow them to do their work in safety, free from intimidation and harassment.
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