Cape Town - The SA National Editors Forum expressed shock on Monday at the detention of a journalist by police in the Western Cape.

“This behaviour by officers of the SA Police Service is completely unacceptable,” Sanef media freedom committee chairman Adriaan Basson said in a statement.

A Daily Sun journalist was detained by police at the Nyanga police station on Tuesday, the tabloid reported on Thursday.

The reporter was taking pictures of police officers who were allegedly photographing a man seriously injured after he was beaten and set alight by angry residents in Philippi.

According to the paper, the man was accused of breaking into a house and stealing appliances.

The police officers were overheard saying they were planning to post the pictures on Facebook, the paper reported.

The reporter was taken to a police station and said police tried to make him delete pictures and take away his camera.

He was told he would be arrested for attempted murder. He was later released, according to the report.

“Sandiso Phaliso's freedom of expression has been infringed by this incident, when he tried to expose officers neglecting their very basic duty of protecting communities,” Basson said.

Police could not be reached for comment.

Last week Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato said he had asked the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to probe police for detaining the journalist.

At the time Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini said he was not aware of Plato's letter.