Economic Freedom Fighters deputy president Floyd Shivambu has been referred to Parliament’s joint committee on ethics following his manhandling of a journalist on the precinct three weeks ago, the Parliamentary Press Gallery Association (PGA) confirmed.
Shivambu was caught on video with his hands around Netwerk24 journalist Adrian de Kock’s neck on March 20 – the day that Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille was due to appear before her party for the start of her disciplinary hearing.
De Kock had approached Shivambu, who was walking past the venue, for a comment on the De Lille matter when the scuffle ensued.
PGA chairperson Andisiwe Makinana confirmed on Wednesday that Parliament’s presiding officers had “referred the assault of Netwerk24 reporter Adrian de Kock by EFF MP Floyd Shivambu to the Joint Committee on Ethics and members’ interests for consideration.
“The PGA will wait for that parliamentary process to be followed,” she said.
Shivambu apologised for the attack in person later that day, saying he did not know De Kock was a journalist.
He claimed he was surprised by De Kock’s taking of pictures, and accepted that his behaviour was “inappropriate”.
De Kock accepted Shivambu’s apology, but told News24 afterward he had already laid charges with the police.
Following the incident, Makinana reaffirmed the media’s right to do its work on the parliamentary precinct.
“Journalists are allowed to ask MPs questions and the MPs have the right to refuse to answer them. However, violence of any sort is totally unacceptable and must be punishable,” she said.
The PGA also requested that the conduct of another man, who was with Shivambu, be probed as well after he too was seen getting involved in the scuffle.