Jackson Mthembu wants charges against Shivambu despite issuing apology

VIOLENT: EFF deputy president and chief whip was caught on camera assaulting a journalist in Parliament's precint. PICTURE BY Citizen.

He had asked in a statement that journalists treat the matter as it is and allow it to rest.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu wants the matter of EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu to be investigated and the necessary actions taken.

Shivambu is captured in a circulating video assaulting Netwerk24 journalist Adrian de Kock outside Parliament on Tuesday morning this week.

De Kock himself says he will lay assault charges against the EFF deputy president.

Jackson Mthembu wants charges against Shivambu despite issuing apology

“We strongly condemn the violent behaviour of theEFF chief whip, Mr Floyd Shivambu, and two other unidentified men,” Mthembu said.

In the video, Shivambu is seen walking towards the Old Assembly Building in the National Assembly in Cape Town when the journalist approaches him for comment but then the politician grabs De Kock’s camera and pushes him against a wall.

Shivambu was caught on camera manhandling De Kock who was waiting with other journalists outside the building where Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lilles disciplinary hearing takes place.

Jackson Mthembu wants charges against Shivambu despite issuing apology

“It is very regrettable and completely unacceptable that a member of Parliament who also happens to be a chief whip of a party, can be found to be involved in such unbecoming behaviour,” Mthembu said.

“As parliamentarians, we must at all times be the custodians of our Constitution and our democracy, especially media freedom and freedom of expression.

“Any journalist working on the parliamentary precinct must be allowed to do their job without any fear of victimisation or hindrance to their work,” he said.

“We call on the speaker of Parliament to thoroughly investigate this incident and impose the appropriate sanction for such unbecoming behaviour,” Mthembu said.

The following is the full statement issued by Shivambu:

Today the 20th of March 2018 I was engaged in a scuffle with a Photographer/Journalist in Parliament. The scuffle was a result of circumstances which included taking of photographs and persistence to speak to me whilst receiving documents from staff members in order to attend the Standing Committee on Finance. Whilst I was in a hurry to attend the committee meeting I accept that my impatience with the gentleman was inappropriate.

The scuffle happened and was never an assault on the Journalist or media freedom. I regret the incident and believe it should have been handled differently. I take full responsibility and apologise for engaging in a scuffle with a person I discovered after the incident is a journalist. I will write and email an official apology on the scuffle because I believe it was not supposed to happen.

The EFF which I represent in Parliament and deputy president of upholds media freedom and freedom of association. As a loyal member of the EFF I fully uphold media freedom and freedom of association and the scuffle was not meant to suppress these constitutional principles. – Floyd Shivambu.