SANEF Annual General Meeting 2016
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) held its annual general meeting on Saturday July 9 at the PowerFM 98.7 offices in Houghton, Johannesburg. Delegates expressed grave concern about the alarming rate of attacks on journalists by either the community and or thugs during community protests and political gatherings.
During the recent Tshwane protests about ten journalists from different media houses were attacked. During the attacks some of the journalists were threatened at gun point, or by mob carrying stones baying for their blood. In alomost all of these incidents there was a demand that pictures taken during the protests should be deleted. The Sanef delegates expressed their appreciation to some members of the community who intervened to deescalate the situation, protecting our journalists and ensuring that they leave the area unharmed.
The AGM appealed to communities to allow journalists to do their job, as theirs is to tell the story of whatever concerns communities might have without taking sides and without fear or favour. It is through the media that South Africa can reflect on her challenges and find solutions.
The delegates further expressed deep concern that police also continue to harass journalists – demanding they erase footage and pictures or ordering them to leave areas of unrest. This is unacceptable and has to come to an end as the police behavior is in conflict with Police Standing Order 156 which lays down rules of engagement between police and journalists at crime scenes. The police behavior is despite Sanef and SAPS collaborating in amending the Standing Orders and publishing a credit card size booklet to guide both our reporters and police during protest action. The AGM delegates criticized the lack of urgency by SAPS leadership in scheduling an urgent meeting requested by Sanef to discuss the issue. SAPS leadership have proposed a date in mid-August.
The AGM also discussed the fight against racism, with Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Advocate Tshililo Masutha addressing the AGM on the National Action Plan against racism and the proposed bill to criminalise racism, hate speech, xenophobia and related discrimination. Sanef is looking at makin inputs to the bill.
Sanef notes allegations of racism in some of the newsrooms with latest involving ENCA. The journalists there protested against the canning of a story apparently because the reporter had worn a doek and further allegations that there is refusal at ENCA to recognize and engage with a newsroom forum. Sanef calls on all media houses, including ENCA to ensure that newsrooms become spaces reflective of South Africa’s diversity, racial make-up and that are open and democractic centres of debate and dialogue.
We would also like to congratulate the SABC 8, Thandeka Qhubule, Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Busisiwe Ntuli, Krivani Pillay, Jacques Steenkamp, Lukhanyo Calata and Vuyo Mvoko, who won the prestigious Nat Nakasa award – honoring their courage to speak out against censorship even in the climate of fear and threat. As Sanef we will continue to support their cause and all who stand against tyranny. In this regard we again urge the SABC to lift their suspensions and end the disciplinary processes in order to begin the process to rebuild public trust especially ahead of the coming crucial local government elections.
22 women managers from several media companies around the country also received certificates after completing a Women in Media Management course run by Sanef and Wits University. The program is financed by the Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing SETA (FP&M).
A New leadership of Sanef was also elected and they are:
Sanef Chairperson Mahlatse Gallens
Sanef Deputy Chairperson Katy Katopodis
Sanef Secretary General Reggy Moalosi
Sanef Treasurer Adriaan Basson
Sanef Media Freedom SubCommittee Chairperon Sam Mkokeli
AGM also elected a 26 member council which includes provincial co-ordinators and chairs of a number of subcommittees.
Sanef Chairperson Mahlatse – Gallens 083 399 2852
Sanef Deputy Chairperson – Katy Katopodis 082 805 7022
Sanef Secretary General – Reggy Moalosi 071 682 3695
Sanef Treasurer Adriaan – Basson 082 562 2113
Sanef Executive Director – Mathatha Tsedu 082 454 0527
SANEF Annual General Meeting 2016