13 February 2019
The South African National Editors’ Forum and the Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams held a very open and constructive meeting after the minister was filmed blocking journalists covering the ANC manifesto launch in the Eastern Cape at the weekend.
The SANEF delegation stressed to the Minister the severity of her action as undermining media freedom and the broader implications it has on the industry.
Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams expressed her remorse, unreservedly apologised, and took full responsibility.
She expressed her commitment to championing the sanctity of media independence, protected by the country’s Constitution.
SANEF welcomes the sentiment expressed by the minister and her promise for greater activism for media freedom and democracy.
Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams also confirmed that she will be meeting with the SABC management to discuss what unfolded.
SANEF and the minister also discussed recent incidents of cyber bullying, and the weaponization of social media against journalists in an attempt to discredit, threaten and silence them.
SANEF and the minister have agreed to work together to protect journalists against attempts to intimidate them in an increasingly hostile environment.
She also called for government and SANEF to work closely together to curb the spread of “fake news”.
Finally, both sides committed to working together towards the substantive transformation of the industry.
For more information please contact:
Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson, 083 399 2852
Katy Katopodis – SANEF Deputy Chairperson 082 805 7022
Sam Mkokeli – SANEF Media Freedom 082 084 2051
Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director 082 926 6404