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Sanef Condemns Minister Tito Mboweni’s Threats against Journalists
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Sanef Condemns Minister Tito Mboweni’s Threats against Journalists

10 November 2018

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is deeply disturbed by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s social media posts threatening war against editors.

Without context Mboweni tweeted: “Wars start in different ways. Spears and shields, gun powder, bullets and now through media: printed and electronic (eg trade wars by a super president), and then Social media!! Well, the SA Editors must be Editors!! If needs be, we will be forced into the fight, War!”

In a second tweet Mboweni continues to then state that he is a “product of the warrior commanders of the mighty Zulu army” and states that, “there will be collateral damage.”

The comments are unacceptable. Mboweni as a cabinet member is a custodian of our Constitution and has taken an oath of office to protect and uphold the Constitution that guarantees media freedom.

Mboweni has every right to engage with the different media houses if he feels aggrieved by what they have written or alternatively to approach regulatory bodies like the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) and Press Council.

However, threatening editors with war is unacceptable and very dangerous whatever the circumstances.

SANEF is hoping to meet Minister Mboweni to discuss the unfortunate tweets.


For more information please contact:

Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson, 083 399 2852

Mary Papayya – SANEF Chairperson – Media Freedom Sub-Committee, 082 379 4957

Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director, 082 926 6404

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Deadline for Submissions to the Independent Inquiry into Media Ethics and Credibility Extended

SANEF has launched an Inquiry into Media Ethics with a panel of commissioners headed by retired judge Kathleen Satchwell, including panellists Nikiwe Bikitsha and Rich Mkhondo. The aim of the Inquiry is to investigate what went wrong with some of our journalism in recent years and how we can strengthen it so that trust and alliances between us and the public can be built. If you are aware of any ethical breaches, evidence of capture of journalists by their sources, capture of publications or media houses, bribery of journalists or any other issues linked to credibility or ethics, including examples of best practice journalism, please contact the panel via the following email address:
Please note the deadline for written submissions is 31 January 2020. Submissions can be sent to the same email address. There is no specific format for submissions but please back all your claims with evidence and facts and ensure that you include your contact details.
Click here for a link to the terms of reference of the Inquiry.