22 September 2017

South Africa: News24 Journalist Detained, Manhandled

A News24 journalist, who was detained and manhandled by security guards at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, intends pressing charges against the security officials involved.

Kaveel Singh said he was "assaulted" on Friday afternoon after he filmed a scuffle and apparent arrest of two men by mall security guards.

"I was in the middle of buying boots when I heard a commotion and went outside. I saw security dragging away two men - they appeared to have been assaulting the two men - and I got my camera out and started recording," Singh said.

"When I got closer, the guys in front said I must stop recording. Even when I showed him my credentials, which were coincidentally hanging around my neck, they said they didn't care."

In video footage of the incident, security officials can be heard instructing Singh to stop recording before they apprehended him.

Singh can be heard saying, "this is a public space and I am from News24", to which the security guards reply, "we don't care".

Singh said he was dragged and shoved around by six security guards who took him to an "interview room" in the shopping centre's parking lot.

"During the scuffle, a security guard - a quite large security guard - tried taking my phone, and said I should delete the footage."

He said he was kept outside the "interview room" for more than an hour before security officials released him, after News24's lawyer got involved.

Gateway Theatre of Shopping said they were "aware of the situation" and were investigating the incident.

Singh plans to lay assault charges against the security guards on Saturday morning.

"It is important for people to know and to see criminals being apprehended where criminals are actually targeting people. Maybe Gateway isn't as safe as people thought it should be," he said.


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