South Africa: Journalists Manhandled, Detained As Zandile Gumede Supporters and Police Clash

Seven people, including supporters of embattled eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, were arrested on Thursday morning after violent clashes with police in front of Durban City Hall.

A journalist, who works for Independent Media, was also detained after filming the clashes even though the clashes took place in a public place outside the city hall.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the protesters who were arrested would be charged with public violence.

"In the morning, 500 people, thought to be Zandile Gumede supporters, gathered [in] Gardener Street. Police tried engaging the leader of the group to explain they gathered illegally. They did not listen and stun grenades were used to disperse them.

"The journalist arrested is being charged by metro police for assault. That is all the information I have on that for now."

In the commotion, eNCA journalist Siphamandla Goge was manhandled by police and IOL reporter Sihle Mavuso was also arrested.

Commenting on his altercation, Goge said his troubles began when he recorded police arresting a supporter.

"They told me I cannot film them. I told them this is a public place outside the city hall. They said: 'You can't do it. Give us your phone.' I had to throw my phone to my colleague to say: 'Keep it for me.' Before they could reach it, police officers grabbed my phone.

"Unfortunately for them, I have a security code."

He said his phone was confiscated and that police wanted to delete his footage.

"They had to give me my phone back after I negotiated with them. I was on the verge of entering the police van and then they had to release me."

More to follow.

Source: News24

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