Journalists have accused the ANC of heavy-handed tactics and intimidation at the ongoing ANC conference currently taking place at Nasrec expo centre in Soweto.
Bloomberg journalist Sam Mkokeli said on Twitter on Tuesday that he had been ejected from the conference and his accreditation revoked.
— Shoeshoe Qhu 📻 (@ShoeshoeQhu) December 19, 2017
“My only crime was to complain about the ANC’s unprofessional conduct when they made us wait for almost an hour for a Ramaphosa briefing,” Mkokeli said in a Tweet. Mkokeli also said another journalist with a disability had been pushed to the ground on Monday “for not moving fast enough”.
My heart bleeds for the disabled journo whose prosphetic leg came out as anc security manhandled him yesterday and those who were forced to delete their footage and pictures.
— Sam Mkokeli (@msmkokeli) December 19, 2017
In a statement, the Right to Know campaign said: “The security clampdown at Nasrec has undermined journalists throughout
#Anc54 and undermined the public’s right to know. But ejection of Sam Mkokeli is an extreme outrage! Will @DPRamaphosa do anything to address this?”
Mkokeli’s treatment comes after other journalists were threatened by VIP security staff during President Jacob Zuma’s walkabout on Monday. ENCA Lester Kiewit was punched in a stomach after attempting to ask Zuma a question after he delivered a brief statement to the media.
Responding to the accusations, an ANC official told journalists he would be looking into the matter.
— Ranjeni Munusamy (@RanjeniM) December 19, 2017
Journalists have complained throughout the conference of being kept away from delegates. Journalists were kept in an enclosed area, behind a fence, and surrounded by security.
More than 1,200 journalists reportedly gained accreditation at this year’s conference, the highest the party has ever seen.