ANC conference security remove journalist Sam Mkokeli for complaining about treatment of media
On Tuesday afternoon, Bloomberg journalist Sam Mkokeli was removed from the ANC conference in Nasrec after complaining about the stringent rules for the media.
Journalists had been promised a walkabout with new ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa, but strict security regulations resulted in the media standing around for hours and taking circuitous routes to events.
Mkokeli, who is the chairperson of the South African National Editors’ Forum’s (Sanef’s) subcommittee on media freedom, complained about the treatment of journalists. He tweeted that he had been removed, saying: "I suspect I am being arrested".
Maybe I should go home and watch the conference on ANN7 since they kicked me out and took my accreditation.— Sam Mkokeli (@msmkokeli) December 19, 2017
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.— Sam Mkokeli (@msmkokeli) December 19, 2017
The leadership of Sanef, including chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase, were engaging the with ANC protocol officials to get to the bottom of the Mkokeli matter.
They went to gate 5 — where he was threatened by security officials — in the hope of getting his accreditation reinstated.
Mkokeli and other journalists had waited in the sun for 45 minutes for Ramaphosa, who had been due to make his first public remarks as ANC president.
When Ramaphosa finally appeared, he addressed the crowd and said the ANC conference was going "very well". He described the newly elected top six as "a unity slate" that would unite the organisation.
Mahlase said the organisation was due to meet the ANC leadership.
Prof Richard Calland said: "I was threatened with having my accreditation taken away by a security man because I was talking to a delegate who had stopped me to ask about where it would be best for him to do a law degree."
Journalist Lester Kiewit was reportedly punched in the stomach by a VIP security detail during Zuma’s walk about on Monday.