Sanef: ANC likens media to bin Laden

2010-08-17 12:22

Johannesburg - The SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) was willing to talk about improving self-regulation, but it did not appreciate the public slamming of the media by ANC officials, its chairperson said on Tuesday.

“Every single ANC spokesman who gets a platform slams the media as if we were... Osama bin Laden,” Mondli Makhanya said at a roundtable discussion hosted by Talk Radio 702 in Johannesburg.

He was responding to African National Congress national spokesperson Jackson Mthembu who said the ruling party was willing to “engage” with the media about a proposed Media Appeals Tribunal for print media.

Makhanya said: “Of course we can strengthen (self-regulation). We never said it’s perfect. Let’s have that conversation.”

But he pointed out that President Jacob Zuma and SA Communist Party secretary general Blade Nzimande had been very critical of the media, and very supportive of a tribunal, in recent weeks.

ANC: Ombudsman subjective

Media lawyer Okyerebea Ampofo agreed with Makhanya, saying she was “concerned about the rhetoric” from the ANC.

The ANC has criticised the Press Ombudsman function, saying it was subjective because it was run by a journalist.

Instead, it has suggested that Parliament investigate the possibility of a statutory tribunal to regulate the print media.

Mthembu said many people had lost their jobs because of “malicious” coverage they had received in the media.

Does not make sense

He said the Press Ombudsman did not allow such people proper recourse, and that often an apology by a newspaper was not enough.

Legal action was too expensive for these people, added Mthembu.

But media freedom expert Raymond Louw said the Press Ombudsman offered a free service to members of the public who wanted to complain about alleged defamation.

“I haven’t seen one case before the Press Ombudsman which reflects a complaint about malicious reporting,” said Louw.

He said the most complaints about the media came from high-profile politicians, who probably did have the financial resources to revert to the courts, so Mthembu’s argument did not make sense, said Louw.

“And by the way, what is the parliamentary system of dealing with errant parliamentarians? A self-regulatory system with no participation from the public,” added Louw.

  • John - 2010-08-17 12:43

    The ANC is a terrorist organisation and Osama Bin Laden is their mentor.

  • Gorilla - 2010-08-17 12:45

    The ruling party will only love the media as long as it sings their tune. if not, they will be treated with contempt. and so it begins...

  • Karen - 2010-08-17 13:00

    Grow up! I studied part-time and have a very successful career. The fact that one's parents are poor is just an excuse. The Government has education and learnership programs - so get off your booty and make something of yourself without always blaming everything and everyone else. This will assist you in using a dictionary and looking up the appropriate legal meaning of the word 'treason'. What you have to realize is that media freedom and exposure actually helps the country to stay on the right path; alternatively, using a defense mechanism like denial will give those who practice corruption and mismanagement carte blanche to carry on - and all of this has a DIRECT impact on the poorest people. Go figure.

  • Angryrealyouth - 2010-08-17 13:12

    Ill go to war with this degusting excuses for a political party if they pull this off, not my country buddy go find some other country to rape and plunder, as the youth we should stand up now and kick these old dogs out before they destroy what is ever left of our home. There’s no more space for this attitude in this country, not anymore. We will rise and gain control so that ALL SOUTH AFRICANS can live together without these idiotic hatemonger’s pushing us around telling us to hate 1 another. POWER TO THE PEOPLE, ALL THE PEOPLE

  • Stephen - 2010-08-17 13:33

    And so it starts...........

  • Fazil - 2010-08-17 13:48

    I for one will support a tribunal in SA.
    One does not hav eto dig much to understand the monopoly control as well as the various imperialist agendas held dear by these media groupings. My personal experience has been that the ombudsman, if he gets down to addressing your complaint, merely brushes your complaint aside. I would like this tribunal to be extended to the radio press as well.

  • mxo - 2010-08-17 13:54

    It is about time the print media accepts that "democracy" does not equal "laissez faire". All other sectors of the media are under some of form of regulated environment. whats so special about print that they cannot be regulated.The argument about self regulation hold no water.For all these years they had the opportunity to improve the ombudsman's function they sat back because they knew they are getting away with murder. No country in the world allow journos to do as they please. That is why the American and British journos are "embedded" in Iraq and Afhganistan because the army want them under control.

  • DanMan - 2010-08-17 13:55

    Give it two years and the ANC'll be sniffing the media's behinds for some election coverage

  • Joe - 2010-08-17 13:57

    Another news24 reader made the suggestion we should have a tender tribunal to investigate tender irregularities. Now that is a good idea.

  • Tammy - 2010-08-17 13:57

    Why aren't the media asking for the support of the public? We don't like this either. Is there a platform for the general public to express themselves?

  • Frankie - 2010-08-17 14:17

    Wake up SA. The ANC are scared of the press because of the thorough job the journalists do in ferreting out and revealing almost daily incidences of corruption and fraud perpetrated by Gov officials. The excellent inquiring newspaper coverage of these recalcitrant officials cramps their underhanded style and tis irks them terribly.

  • Crash test dummy - 2010-08-17 14:25

    We all know what this is about - insecure ANC politicians who find the harsh glare of the spotlight on their dodgy deals and shady practices too uncomfortable for their liking. I weep buckets for them - if anyone needs 'protection' it's us useful idiots the taxpayers who 'fund' their nefarious goings-on! And good on you, Raymond Louw, for pointing out the glaring hypocrisy of it all - I don't hear politciians hollering for 'regulation' of the political class, do you? If anyone needs 'regulating', its the politicians - power corrupts, and all that... Ruling party politicians need a good harsh disinfectant, the majority of them are factory faults, who do nothing for the country, except loudly complain for more perks and snooze in Parliament. And have you seen how fat they are all? They alone could keep Nandos and KFC in business! Literally living off the fat of the land. I wish our voters were like the Brits - when their polticians behave like fat cats and take the voters for granted, they give them a humiliating kick in the crotch!

  • mxo - 2010-08-17 14:45

    News24 what is purpose of inviting comments and not published them. Or are you looking for comments that only perpetuates the media lies about the MAT. My first cooment on this matter was not published

  • Sipho Sibeko - 2010-08-17 15:27

    Just amazing the drivel that spews out of Jackson Mthembu's mouth. If people lost their jobs because of malicious media coverage they should sue the press for defamation and their jobs will be reinstated. Clearly just fairy tales coming form substance again!! ANC drivel as usual.

  • SANELE MDLETSHE - 2010-08-17 15:29

    I think some ppl are pushing their agenda using the media as a scapegoat indeed every one who is getting a platform the first thing is the media. Now i doubt that the anc officials will say anything about service delivery on these forthcoming elections campaign except slamming the media. The biggest question is if this media tribunal comes to effect who will be holding the chains while others become toothless.

  • Lihle - 2010-08-17 15:58

    From what i have read, this whole media print tribunal is just another brilliant idea like the doing dissolving of the scorpions (a threat to many corrupt politicians), we have such brilliant investigative journalism skill in this country it’s evident in the stories they cover - and how co-incidental that this tribunal came after former Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi was sentenced. If you have nothing to hide as a public figure, why are you building walls around yourself, why panic? The media are just doing their job, and they are doing it much better than most parliamentary representatives. There is too much going on under the radar hence the slow economical development of this country. Maybe the ANC should re-define the word” Democracy” and the term “freedom of expression” and “constitutional rights”.
    This country has come too far to contradict its own laws on media freedom. The media is being punished for doing a great Job. In the end the ANC is playing in the wrong playground- their fighting the most essential people they should have in their corner. What ever you say, communicate is subject to the media and goes through a whole process before it is actually printed. If you want to fight something worthwhile rather micromanage and ensure action plans (fighting unemployment, poverty, better service delivery, health) get carried. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion its your responsibility to act with ethics and Values.

  • Tshakas - 2010-08-17 16:43

    I support media freedom in a democratic country SA.Squeezing the media to the last limit will push the country in to an anarchy something which most people do not want hence the noise we are hearing day in day out.
    The media needs to tread very careful in the way they will criticize the idea. I do feel the anger every media men and women are experiencing but bear in mind that the politicians were elected into office and you were educated to be into media profession these are two deferent things.
    for you as media people to draw battle line with the politician will not do us any favor but harm. Engage with the ANC in whatever fears you have politely and intelligentsia, whatever you are doing have the poor people of SA in your hearts as they are the people who will suffer most if authoritative laws are passed by parliament. We do not want to be found in a situation were by you the Harvard students resort to immigrate leaving the poor people to surfer without any where to go due to your acts and deeds.Engage,engage,engage the ANC for an amicable solution to be found.
    Mass would like to be informed in whatever is happening in the country be it in government and private sector but your informing should be balanced not one sided like what is happening now. Report corruption in government but report private sector as well. You can’t tell us that tenders are issued by government departments only. Banks and financial institutions award tenders,whos is getting those tenders we need to know for as much we would like to know on what the government is doing then your reporting will be regarded as balanced.

    Honest opinion-the media is owned and run by white males, the government is run by black males, negative reporting on the government will constitute that the white male media run and owned have got an interest in taking over power from the black majority, it’s a fact like it or not.

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