News24 Wire
2 minute read
6 Feb 2021
8:48 pm

Watch: Cape Town anti-mask protestor arrested for assaulting journalist

News24 Wire

A protester was arrested for allegedly assaulting a reporter during an anti-mask protest on a Western Cape beach on Saturday.

One of the anti-mask protestors in Cape Town, who slapped journalist Athi Mtonga's phone from her hand. Picture: Screenshot

The #WeAreMore protesters believe that the government regulation to wear a mask in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 was unconstitutional.

Speaking to News24, Athi Mtongana – a reporter for television channel Newzroom Afrika, alleged: “I was leaving when the woman approached me.

“She asked if we were part of the media. When we said ‘yes’, she said she didn’t speak to people who wear masks because they supported paedophilia. When I asked her ‘how’, that’s when she threw my phone to the ground.”

Mtongana said after the incident she had to leave the beach as she was rushing to another assignment, but that she would open a case against the woman. “I am going to lay charges because we have to do our work without being intimidated.”

She claimed there were police officers on the beach, but they didn’t enforce mask wearing.

Another journalist who was allegedly attacked for wearing a mask was eNCA’s Monique Mortlock. She said one of the protest organisers ripped the mask from her face.

Following the fracas, the man who allegedly assaulted Mortlock was arrested.

Cape Town police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said: “A man in his forties was arrested this morning on Fish Hoek beach for assault and crimen injuria following an incident between him and a 29-year-old female reporter. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated. Once charged, he is due to make a court appearance in Simon’s Town.”

In a statement, #WeAreMore condemned their leaders’ actions. “Woke Nation and its affiliate organisations categorically condemn such behaviour and want to inform everyone that such actions go against the principles of what we stand for and only hamper what we intend to achieve from such demonstrations.”

While they apologised to Mortlock, the organisation said it would not comment further until they get clarity from the man on why he had allegedly attacked her.

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