The assault case against the Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu has been postponed to 11 February 2021. EFF members gathered outside the Cape Town Magistrates court in support of Shivambu.
The party’s deputy president appeared in court on a common assault charge – after he allegedly attacked a Netwerk24 photojournalist – Adrian de Kock outside Parliament on 20 March 2018.
The incident which was caught on camera, took place while journalists were waiting outside the building. Then-Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille’s disciplinary hearing was underway. De Kock approached Shivambu seeking comment and went on to take a picture of the member of parliament.
An unimpressed Shivambu demanded that de Kock delete the images. He told the journalist that he had not given permission. As seen in the video that went viral, a scuffle then ensued. Shivambu, along with two companions can be seen in the video manhandling De Kock with his hands around the journalist’s neck. De Kock is heard telling them to leave his camera as the two companions attempted to confiscate it.
Shivambu then walks away leaving the two gentlemen with the journalist. De Kock subsequently opened a case of assault against him.
FLOYD SHIVAMBU BROUGHT BEFORE PARLIAMENT
The assault case was later referred to Parliament’s Joint Committee on ethics. Shivambu had extended an apology later on the same day, stating that he wasn’t aware that de Kock was a journalist.
Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo in a statement said speaker of the National Assembly and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces had noted reports on the assault and were gravely concerned.
“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. The Presiding Officers will investigate the alleged incident and, where necessary, determine an appropriate decision.”
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo
Shivambu is not the only party member who appeared in the dock today. Party leader Julius Malema and member of parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi also appeared on assault charges in the Randburg magistrates court. They are accused of manhandling a police colonel in April 2018 at the funeral of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela. The colonel had allegedly refused them access to the cemetery where she was laid to rest, insisting that the pair couldn’t produce a permit for their vehicle.