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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Inquiry after South African journalist is shot in the face

The Parliamentary group reviewing South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) are calling for police to answer to how they are handling threats against journalists.

SABC 8 Journalist Suna Ventura had two air pellets removed from a wound on Monday after she was shot in the face last November following a series of threats of intimdation. Police also confirmed that the incident did not meet the normal hijacking or mugging.

DA MP Mike Waters said the “shooting” happened hours after Venter and SABC 8 journalists sent written testimony to the inquiry, and it is thus a clear case of intimidation. He asked for acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane to be called in and address Parliament publicly regarding the “rot” at the SABC and threats against journalism.

Venter was among eight SABC journalists who were fired, and seven later reinstated, for objecting to former SABC Chief Oprating Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, imposed policy of no longer airing footage of violent protests.

Parliament has decided not to call him to testify before the ad hoc committee investigating the broadcaster, because it says, the inquiry is about the SABC and not one man.