Two senior EFF members have picked up two charges of assault in the space of a week.
Journalist Adrian de Kock affirmed yesterday he had laid a charge of assault against EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu following the last’s asserted attack on De Kock in the parliamentary precinct, which was caught on camera and widely circulated on social media on Tuesday.
In the second incident, Lillian Kolisang, spokesperson for the speaker of the City of Joburg, accused EFF councillor Lucky Chabalala in the City of Joburg of slapping her last week after she had “rejected his advances”.
“It is disgusting that there are men who don’t know what ‘no’ means,” Kolisang said.
Kolisang made the allegation following news of the assault on De Kock and said she had laid a charge of assault against Chabalala with Mondeor police.
When she reported the alleged assault, Kolisang said the police official taking her statement compounded the incident by apparently remarking: “I would make love to a beautiful woman like you, not slap you.”
Both incidents have sparked outrage.
“Parliament is concerned by the incident as it is not in line with its commitment to press freedom and a media-friendly environment, as enshrined in the constitution’s Bill of Rights,” parliament’s Speaker Baleka Mbete and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise said in a joint statement on De Kock’s assault.
“The presiding officers will investigate the alleged incident and, where necessary, determine an appropriate decision.”
De Kock told The Citizen he had been to a doctor for pain-relieving injections and for physiotherapy for injuries he sustained to his back during the assault.
Parliamentary Press Gallery Association chairperson Andisiwe Makinana said the organisation was “appalled” by the assault on De Kock.
“Any journalist working in the parliamentary precinct on assignment has the full right to photograph and ask questions of any public representative,” Makinana said.
“I’ve been covering the precinct for years. I go to all their press conferences,” De Kock said of Shivambu’s claim he only discovered after the incident De Kock was a journalist.
Shivambu has refused to answer questions about the incident, saying he would “not do media interviews concerning the incident because I believe there are other important issues to speak about”.
In 2011, he reportedly sent a message to journalist Carien du Plessis saying: “You must learn to respect people. I don’t comment on Young Communist League issues and please stop being stupid … I wouldn’t want to earn respect from white bitches … so dream on.” The Equality Court forced him to apologise and pay Du Plessis’ legal costs.
In 2013 Shivambu paid Independent Newspapers and Saturday Star editor Kashiefa Ajam R175 000 after calling her a drunkard.