ACTING National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Kgomotso Phahlane‚ has condemned attacks on journalists by members of the police.

According to a statement released by the South African Police Service (SAPS)‚ a meeting held at the SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) offices on Thursday addressed the "prosperous working relations between the SAPS and the media representatives".

Among the points that were raised and discussed were allegations of attacks on journalists in which police had been implicated; the safety of journalists on the crime scenes; access to information and sensationalisation of incidents information by the media‚ the statement read.

Incidents reported during the meeting included "instances where police officers allegedly forced journalists to delete pictures from their cameras and physical manhandling of others such as the protest scenes and the behaviour of VIP Protection Services".

Phahlane‚ who condemned attacks on journalists‚ said that the matter would be "attended to internally to rectify the situation".

But the statement added that he also highlighted instances "where the police worked exceptionally well with the journalists".

"During the recent local government elections‚ we took the journalists with our chopper to Vuwani so that they could have a clear view of what was really happening on the ground‚" he said.

The meeting‚ according to the SAPS‚ agreed to formalise "existing agreements" to enhance understanding between police and the media.

"These included arrangements for editors to be invited to address national‚ provincial and regional meetings of the SAPS leadership‚ and where possible also police recruits.

"Editors would in turn invite police officers into newsrooms to enhance their understanding of media operations.

"The two teams finally agreed that they both need each other for the benefit of service delivery and the people of South Africa.

"The Sanef delegation included its media freedom subcommittee chairperson Sam Mkokeli and executive director Mathatha Tsedu.

"Further meetings are to be arranged‚" the statement read.

TMG Digital