Durban - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on Thursday called on the South African police to institute special training sessions for officers in non-coercive methods when dealing with incidents of public violence.
This comes after an Independent Media journalist, Sihle Mavuso, was arrested and manhandled by SA police and Durban Metro Police outside the Durban City Hall while covering a protest in support of suspended eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. AN eNca journalist was also accosted by law enforcement officials.
IFP KZN provincial spokesperson on community safety and liaison, Blessed Gwala, said the party condemns the brutal actions of law-enforcement officers who assaulted, manhandled and arrested journalists during a protest outside the Durban City Hall where supporters of embattled Gumede and police clashed.
"We call on the police to apply the same energy used in arresting journalists in fighting criminals who are terrorising and killing people," said Gwala.
"Journalists are not criminals; they are not armed and therefore must be allowed to do their work of reporting news freely and without intimidation. It is senseless for police to attack people who are only 'armed' with pen, paper and a camera.