Journalists miffed with heavy-handed tactics at #ANC54


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.

“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”.

In a statement, the Right to Know campaign said: “The security clampdown at Nasrec has undermined journalists throughout and undermined the public’s right to know. But ejection of Sam Mkokeli is an extreme outrage! Will 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.

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.