The South African National Editors’ Forum is shocked and alarmed at the granting by the North Gauteng High Court of an urgent interdict by the police against the Sunday Independent last night (Friday).
The application was brought by the Minister of Police, the National Commissioner of the SAPS and the Divisional Commissioner of crime intelligence to stop the newspaper from continuing to report on nepotism in the appointment of personnel to positions in the crime intelligence division of the police.
Judge Ephraim Makgoba granted the order against the newspaper in the absence of its editor and lawyers who were not in court at the time, caught in traffic.
A disconcerting aspect of the proceedings is the fact that there appears to have been an element of miscommunication between the lawyers representing the parties which resulted in the paper’s lawyers having to travel to Pretoria after the police lawyers had arrived at court. The paper’s lawyers arrived five minutes after the judge had made his ruling.
Sanef supports the Sunday Independent in its courageous reportage that serves the public interest by exposing malfeasance and corruption in the public service. The editor’s forum also supports the newspaper’s appeal to a higher court against Judge Makgoba’s ruling.