Mantashe defends Media Appeals Tribunal

2010-11-04 12:53

The ANC’s proposed Media Appeals Tribunal was not intended to protect corrupt individuals, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

“I don’t think we can pass a law to protect the predatory elite...to protect corruption,” Mantashe told a gathering hosted by The Daily Maverick in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Mantashe said the ANC’s proposal was merely to allow citizens recourse once their complaints about the media had gone through the current independent regulatory mechanism. He said since the start of the debate about the Media Appeals Tribunal, the country had seen more apologies.

“We have seen more voluntary apologies from the media over the last three months than the last 10 years. [People] must be allowed to appeal somewhere.”

Currently there was no “recourse” if the media showed “contempt” towards a press ombudsman’s ruling.
“It’s about equalising the rights of citizens,” Mantashe said.

He noted the hostility among the media towards new newspaper, the New Age. Some quarters have criticised it for being an ANC mouthpiece.

Mantashe said it was going to take a long time to change the “packaging of ideas” in South Africa.

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