Pumlani Mkolo crowd mobs journos

Pumlani Mkolo, centre, addressed his supporters after briefly appearing at the East London magistrate’s court on charges of fraud related to a Mandela funeral funds scandal on Wednesday.
Pumlani Mkolo, centre, addressed his supporters after briefly appearing at the East London magistrate’s court on charges of fraud related to a Mandela funeral funds scandal on Wednesday.
Image: Michael Pinyana

There was a commotion outside the East London magistrate’s court on Wednesday when around 100 unruly ANC supporters, including BCM councillors, hurled insults, manhandled and threatened to assault a press contingent covering Mandela funeral funds scandal court cases.

This was moments after three of the court cases, which involve top BCM politicians, administrators and business people, were postponed following brief appearances of the 10 accused before regional court magistrate Sadia Jacobs.

The crowd was in court to support Dr WB Rubusana ANC regional secretary Pumlani Mkolo, suspended over his alleged role in the fraud and corruption case.

Mkolo had just started addressing the crowd and the Dispatch photographer was two metres away taking pictures. Mkolo then wagged a finger towards the photographer, asking him to stop taking pictures in that close proximity.

This was when the hostile crowd turned and advanced towards the photographer.

The Dispatch photographer, a reporter, a Daily Sun reporter and a freelance journalist were later mobbed, and some were manhandled and insulted by the crowd, which showed its displeasure at their pictures being captured.

Later on, in a call to the Dispatch, Mkolo conceded that the actions of the crowd were “wrong and uncalled for”, but insisted that the photographer had “no right to come closer to ANC members when they are caucusing”.

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