11 December 2018
The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) is concerned that journalists and photographers assigned to cover the Mahila Mahikeng Cultural Jazz Festival in Northwest at the weekend were physically manhandled and forcibly removed during the course of doing their jobs as accredited and official media.
Journalists from the Daily Sun, the SABC and several other media agencies, told how some government officials from the department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs (CATA) – the organisers for the event – tried to intervene in the fiasco but to no avail, as service providers stepped in and took control preventing the journalists from doing their work.
Journalists also complained that they also experienced difficulties accessing their promised accommodation for the festival and received no assistance when the problems arose. Some media had travelled long distances to get to the event.
SANEF calls on those responsible to understand that journalists work to deadline and preventing them from doing their work – accessing stories and taking pictures – deny the public the right to information.
SANEF appeals to event organisers responsible for such event to put in place media liaison officials and efficient channels of access for such events of public interest. Also a contingency plan for when a crises affecting the media arise.
For more information please contact:
Mary Papayya – SANEF Media Freedom Chair
082 379 4957
Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Regional Convener