- EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu says there are more important issues facing South Africa than his assault on a journalist last week
- Shivambu was caught on camera assaulting journalist Adrian de Kock outside of Parliament
- De Kock has since laid charges of assault against Shivambu and received counselling and medical treatment
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu has refused to answer questions about him assaulting a journalist outside of Parliament last week, Shivambu said there were more important issues in South Africa.
Shivambu was filmed assaulting journalist Adrian de Kock outside of Parliament in Cape Town last Tuesday. He and what appeared to be a bodyguard grabbed de Kock and shoved him against a wall.
De Kock has confirmed that he reported the incident to the police and opened a case of assault against Shivambu. De Kock said he had to get medical attention after the incident and has been receiving pain-relieving injections for his back and neck.
Briefly.co.za discoverer that this was not the first time Shivambu had a run in with a journalist. In 2013 the Gauteng High Court ordered Shivambu to pay R175 000 to a newspaper editor after calling him a drunkard.
“You must learn to respect people. I don’t comment on YCL issues and please stop being stupid … I wouldn’t want to earn respect from white women… so dream on,” Shivambu once SMSed journalist Carien du Plessis in 2011. After two years, the Equality Court ordered him to apologise and pay Du Plessis’ legal costs, reported to be around R20 000.
He also called an ANN7 journalist a Gupta agent and refused to be interviewed by her in 2016.
“Parliament is concerned by the incident as it is not in line with its commitment to press freedom and a media-friendly environment as enshrined in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights,” said Parliament’s Speaker Baleka Mbete and chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Thandi Modise in a joint statement.
Mbete said Parliament’s presiding officers would investigate the matter before deciding on an appropriate course of action.
EFF leader Julius Malema said on Monday that journalists should be respected. “Let us pose for them because we are photogenic … We must never be scared of media. No journalist should ever feel threatened by the EFF,” he added.
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