23 September 2023
Following an earlier statement that promised to meet with Standard Bank, the South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF) met with the bank yesterday, Friday, 22 September 2023, to discuss the unfortunate incident that happened at their head offices in Rosebank, where a Daily Maverick (DM) journalist was harshly removed by the bank’s security.
The meeting noted the letter of apology sent to Daily Maverick earlier today. SANEF noted that Daily Maverick has accepted the apology and will meet with Standard Bank early next month.
“One of the key agreements in the meeting was that journalists’ work needs to be respected and they must be afforded the space to do their work. Further, the rise in threats, intimidation, and harassment of particularly women journalists needs to come to an end,” says Sbu Ngalwa, SANEF Chairperson.
The meeting was held in an atmosphere of mutual respect, acknowledging the important role that the media plays in society and recognising the tough environments and conditions under which the media have to operate.
“We applaud SANEF for the direct, firm, honest, humane, respectful and principled manner in which they approached this matter. We appreciate the opportunity extended by SANEF to engage with Standard Bank. We hold the media in very high regard and reaffirm our commitment to supporting freedom of the press. A free media is a central pillar of our Constitutional democracy. Equally, a free and unhindered media is needed to create and maintain the conditions for inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” says Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank Group CEO.
The parties discussed the protocols required to ensure that journalists stay safe as they conduct their day-to-day reporting. SANEF used the opportunity to reiterate the importance of prior engagement when media attend at volatile situations that involve protests and conflict.
“Standard Bank is deeply committed to our Constitution and to supporting economic and human development in South Africa. We are, therefore, a firm and steady supporter of the rule of law and of media freedom. We will continue to defend and uphold these fundamental rights,” concludes Tshabalala.
SANEF reiterates that Standard Bank should ensure that their security personnel never physically tackle and intimidate journalists again.
Note to Editors:
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is a non-profit organisation whose members are editors, senior journalists, and journalism trainers from all areas of South African media. We are committed to championing South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression and promoting quality, ethics, and diversity in the South African media. We promote excellence in journalism through fighting for media freedom, writing policy submissions, research, and education and training programmes. SANEF is not a union.
For more information please contact:
Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Chairperson (073) 404-1415
Nwabisa Makunga – SANEF Deputy Chairperson (082) 555-1972
Tshamano Makhadi – Treasurer-General (082) 223 0621
Makhudu Sefara – SANEF Media Freedom Chair (079) 177-2134
Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334
Dr. Glenda Daniels – SANEF Gauteng Convenor (083) 229-9708
Rochelle De Kock – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (072) 969-8028
Reggy Moalusi – SANEF Executive Director (071) 682-3695
Email: [email protected]
Ross Linstrom, Standard Bank Media