Damage to Alex FM
Damage to Alex FM

CPJ concerned about journalists’ safety during SA unrest coverage

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jul 14, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Committee for Protecting Journalists is concerned about the safety of journalists in South Africa who are covering the looting and riots.

This comes after several community radio stations were looted during riots this week, and several journalists on the ground have also been attacked or Intimidated.

Alex FM, Mams Radio, West Side FM and Intokozo FM had equipment worth millions of Rands stolen during the riots.

Journalists have also been assaulted and intimidated on the ground.

Angela Quintal, who is the Africa programme director for the CPJ, said members of the media should be allowed to cover the story freely.

“The rioting and civil unrest in South Africa is the country’s biggest news story, and the media must be free to cover it, without fear of assault so the public can remain informed at such a crucial time,” said Quintal.

“Even while they are engaged in stopping rioting and looting, law enforcement agencies cannot turn a blind eye to how journalists are being attacked and threatened while doing their jobs, and must ensure that those who do so are held to account,” she said.

According to the CPJ, Alex FM’s station manager Takalane Nemangowe said the attackers had taken everything.

In an update on Wednesday, the radio station announced it had found a temporary home in Rivonia, sharing premises with LM Radio and Cliff Central.

At the Mams Radio in Mamelodi they lost transmitters, studios, and offices, and equipment was stolen from the station.

IOL

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