02 April 2019
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is concerned by the verbal attack by ANC Deputy Secretary General, Jessie Duarte against ENCA political reporter, Samkele Maseko.
In a video recording published on ENCA’s website, Duarte accuses Maseko of asking questions that are “attacking the ANC”, “battering the ANC,” “intimidating everybody” and threatens to report his conduct to the Press Ombudsman.
Duarte also accused him of being a bully and arrogant.
While Duarte has the right to approach the Press Ombudsman or the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa to lodge a complaint about a news report carried by a media house or the conduct of a reporter – Duarte has no right to dictate what question she can be asked.
She does however have the right not to answer any question posed to her.
While the relationship between journalists and politicians is fraught with tension by its nature, it is always critical for both parties to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully.
SANEF is also concerned that Duarte also suggests that Maseko has no right to defend media freedom he did not “fight for.”
Freedom of Expression is the cornerstone of South Africa’s democracy and we all have a responsibility to defend the constitution including those who were not part of the liberation struggle.
We note the ANC’s statement accusing Maseko of “unacceptable and unprofessional outburst.” We have asked the ANC to provide details of this alleged conduct.
SANEF has agreed to meet with the ANC as soon as both sides are available to discuss the matter and other issues.
We also welcome the fact that the ANC wants to meet with Maskeo’s employers, eNCA.
For more information contact:
Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson, 083 399 2852
Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director 082 926 6404
Mary Papayya – Chair: SANEF Media Freedom 082 379 4957
Moipone Malefane – SANEF Secretary General 082 772 5861
Sam Mkokeli – SANEF Media Freedom 082 084 2051
Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Media Freedom 073 404 1415