EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu will be tried on a charge of assault.
Shivambu is accused of assaulting a Netwerk24 journalist, Adrian de Kock, outside parliament in March 2018 after De Kock wanted to ask him a question and take photos.
Shivambu’s legal team made representations for possible mediation and diversion to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), but it was unsuccessful. According to the NPA, Shivambu’s trial will begin on February 11, 2021.
Along with other journalists outside parliament, De Kock waited for news of the DA’s disciplinary hearing against Patricia de Lille. Shivambu and other men arrived there and asked what cause they were there for. According to De Kock, Shivambu and the other men suddenly demanded that he remove the photo he had taken of them. They tried to grab his equipment and plucked him around. Other journalists downplayed the controversy.
Shortly afterward, Shivambu apologized for the “dispute.” Shivambu said De Kock took photos of him and insisted on talking to him while receiving documents related to a parliamentary standing committee meeting on finance. He did not realize he was a reporter, Shivambu explained.
“I was in a hurry to get to the committee meeting, and I accept that my impatience with the man was inappropriate,” Shivambu added. “There was an argument; it was not an attack on the journalist or media freedom at all. I’m sorry about the incident and believe it should have been handled differently. I accept full responsibility and apologize for getting involved in an argument with a person I later found out is a journalist. I will send an official apology in writing because I believe it should not have happened, ”he said at the time.