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SANEF on the conduct of Barnes and Du Plessis – 07 Jan 2016

We applaud eTV for reacting swiftly to the incident. We welcome the apology rendered by eTV and Barnes following his unprofessional and hurtful conduct while on duty. We have noted the ANC’s reaction to Du Plessis’s unfortunate and offensive tweet. The governing party has threatened to withdraw her accreditation to cover the party’s 104 anniversary event in Rustenburg.
Sanef believes that while the ANC, or any political party, has a right to accept or reject applications for accreditation, it should not do so on the basis of views held by journalists. However, Sanef understands that Du Plessis’s tweet, for which she has since apologised, went beyond defensible commentary or opinion.
Sanef accepts that constitutional right to freedom of speech is subject to legitimate limitations that are clearly spelt out in the Constitution of South Africa.
We urge journalists to exercise their right to freedom of speech within the confines of the Constitution and not to unnecessarily offend or cause hatred while on duty and in their private capacities.
While the ANC has a right to determine its internal processes, we would like to urge the party to rise above such regrettable utterances, be true to its noble agenda to build a non-racial society and allow even those who might have made offensive remarks to cover the party’s anniversary celebrations.
For more enquiries please contact:
Mpumelelo Mkhabela
Sanef Chairperson
082 296 2541