11 October 2018
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) has noted that a meeting has been held between Sunday Times Editor, Bongani Siqoko and the Hawks. The Hawks were at the offices of the Sunday Times in Johannesburg on Tuesday, and the meeting was held there at the editor’s request.
While as SANEF we have previously raised concern when state institutions unjustifiably turn on journalists in an attempt to intimidate them into silence, Siqoko has assured us that the meeting was cordial. He has also told SANEF that there is no investigation as regards him or the newspaper. It appears it is too early to give details on the exact nature of the Hawks investigation.
However to our understanding, the investigation is also not linked to the stories the Sunday Times wrote in recent years, especially in connection with the now discredited SARS Rogue Unit Reports.
SANEF is acutely aware of the terrible damage those stories have done to our industry and our democracy and also notes the repeated apologies from the Sunday Times over the years.
SANEF stands resolute in its belief that journalists in South Africa must always be beyond reproach and we condemn any form of corrupt or unethical reporting.
While we recognise that journalists enjoy many freedoms in South Africa, we take this opportunity to remind all members of the media that these freedoms come with a responsibility to report fairly, accurately and ethically at all times. Facts always matter.
At the same time, SANEF also calls on all law enforcement bodies not to unlawfully encroach on those freedoms, and allow journalists and editors to do their work without any fear of reprisals and intimidatory tactics.
For more information please contact:
Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson
083 399 2852
Katy Katopodis – SANEF Deputy Chairperson
082 805 7022
Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director
082 926 6404