Right2Know demands end to cops' brutality against journalists, activists
Durban - The Right2Know Campaign has demanded an end to South African Police Services and eThekwini Metro Police's brutality against journalists and activists saying this hinders a free press.
The civil rights advocacy organisation is on Friday marching to the eThekwini Metro Police headquarters to deliver their demands amongst which is a call for police to possess a thorough understanding of the Gatherings Act 205 of 1993.
Sinenhlanhla Manqele, of the Right2Know Campaign's National Working Group, said that it was important to fight against media censorship as this also protects the country's democracy.
"We want the Metro Police and SAPS to stop dehumanising and assaulting journalists because we want a free media and we want journalists to capture everything if we are marching on the streets without the police thinking they have a say in what the media can or cannot capture.
"We want the police to know their rights as law enforcement officials but we also want them to know the journalists' rights. One of our demands is for the SAPS and Metro Police to have a meeting with journalists to talk and have an understanding of both parties jobs," said Manqele.
She said that police interference in the work of the media resulted into a slow feed of news to communities.
"The police must know that it's our media, it's our journalists, it's our news as the communities on the ground and we want to know what's happening. So hands off our journalists and activists, stop brutalising them and arresting them," said Manqele.
In July Independent Media journalist Sihle Mavuso was assaulted and arrested by Durban Metro Police outside the Durban City Hall while covering a protest in support of former eThekwini Municipality mayor Zandile Gumede.