South African Editors Complain at Minister's Umbrella Assault

28 December 2007

CAPE TOWN: The outraged editors of South Africa have complained to the nation's ruling political party - the African National Congress - for the "boorish behaviour" of finance minister Trevor Manuel who allegedly attacked a photographer with his umbrella during the party's annual conference.

A deputation from the South African National Editors' Forum met with the head of the ANC presidency, Smuts Ngonyama, and handed him a letter outlining its concerns.

It read: "It is SANEF'S view that the obviously scant attention given to the effective functioning of the media by the conference organisers is at the root of the boorish behaviour towards the media by particularly certain ANC security personnel.

"The treatment of the media at the conference goes against the grain of SA's democratic culture, which the ANC itself not only fought for but ensured for it to be entrenched in the constitution."

According to editors' deputation: "Ngonyama apologised, on behalf of the ANC, for the treatment that journalists have experienced at the hands of ANC security personnel."

Data sourced from Business Day (South Africa); additional content by WARC staff