News24

Calls to review media tribunal

2010-09-01 14:09

Johannesburg - Primedia has appealed to the ANC and President Jacob Zuma to take serious note of concerns about the proposed media appeals tribunal.

"Once that's been done, then the real issues related to and affecting the media can be discussed without any fear of retribution," said chief executive officer Kuben Pillay in a statement.

Pillay said Primedia was aware that no right in the Bill of Rights was absolute. "All rights may be limited provided that such limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society."

He said access to information was crucial to accurate reporting and imparting accurate information to the public.

"Primedia believes that an introduction of a media appeals tribunal, similar to tribunals in oppressive countries, will be ill-conceived. This will place us in the same category as those oppressive regimes, which our country cannot afford."

The Conference of the Democratic Left (CoDL) said the government and the ANC was attempting to curb media freedom by introducing the protection of information bill and the media appeals tribunal.

"We also note that these measures come in the wake of attempts to increase government control of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and the SABC, through the Icasa amendment bill and the public services broadcasting bill," it said in a statement.

The Conference of the Democratic Left is a process where popular movements, organisations and activists are coming together to chart a new path for overcoming inequality and division in South Africa.