By Maluti Obuseng
PRETORIA, May 8 — The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) have agreed to formulate a document on the conduct of police and journalists to avoid harassment of journalists.
The agreement was struck at a meeting held here Thursday in Pretoria as part of the ongoing discussions between the police and SANEF over building relations between media and the police. It was also agreed that media houses would invite senior police officers to interact with them and that the SAPS would also do the same.
The meeting came on the back of recent accusations by the media of harassment and intimidation by the police and refusal to share information. Now, the two sides have adopted an agreement in which both parties should draft a manual detailing how they should treat each other going forward.
SANEF Executive Director Mathatha Tsedu, who confirmed the agreement, said: “We also agreed that other training processes should go on as well as the inter-action between journalists and police.”
Police Spokesperson Solomon Makgale said the police would improve the technology to ensure media enquiries received the necessary attention.
Meanwhile, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said the police would ensure they adhered to the provisions of the Constitution when dealing with journalists at the crime scene.
In future, the SAPS will invite journalists to educate them about crime scene management and media houses will also show the police how they work.