A report published in the Herald Live today details how one of their reporters was allegedly threatened with being shot and killed after he was questioned for taking photos of the “commotion” at an ANC meeting following a firecracker going off.
Journalist Hendrick Mphande reportedly said that two men hit him and a third threatened him with a knife outside a hall in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, while an angry local businessman allegedly threatened repeatedly to shoot him.
They had demanded he hand over his phone, which he said he refused to do.
The local businessman, who The Herald names, reportedly accused the reporter of writing a damaging article about him, and allegedly grabbed Mphande’s phone … while “two unknown men hit the journalist over the head with their bare hands” while the businessman allegedly twice threatened to shoot Mphande.
The conflict appeared to partly relate to factional tensions between the ANC’s provincial executive committee, regional task team and branch leaders.
Other ANC members were allegedly also intimidated by a group allegedly in favour of controversial ANC member Andile Lungisa, who is himself convicted of assault and is appealing against being sent to prison for two years to see out his sentence.
Lungisa was found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s court earlier this year. He was sentenced for hitting Democratic Alliance councillor Rano Kayser on the head with a glass jug and was last month instructed to vacate his position as an MMC in the Nelson Mandela Bay council – a position he was elected to after being found guilty and sentenced following the ousting of DA mayor Athol Trollip in a motion of no confidence.
The ANC’s provincial chairman, Oscar Mabuyane, reportedly apologised to Mphande.
The journalist later laid a complaint of assault and intimidation with the police, while The Herald’s editor strongly condemned the alleged attack and called on the police to effect arrests.