CPJ concerned about journalists’ safety during SA unrest coverage
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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.
UPDATE: Dear listeners, your favourite radio will be back on air at 6AM Wednesday 13 July 2021.😃 Will be broadcasting live from Sandton, Rivonia on 89.1 MHz same premises with @LMRadioSA @CliffCentralCom— Alex FM Radio 891 (@AlexFMRadio891) July 13, 2021
Our studio equipment remains stolen 💔. Thank you all. ^CS#ElevateYourMind pic.twitter.com/39aH0kszd6
At the Mams Radio in Mamelodi they lost transmitters, studios, and offices, and equipment was stolen from the station.