Parliamentary journalists 'very alarmed' over SONA security

2017-02-06 16:10
(File, Netwerk24)

(File, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The Parliamentary Press Gallery Association (PGA) is very alarmed at the planned restrictions of movement aimed journalists at this week's State of the Nation Address (SONA).

PGA chairperson Joylene van Wyk told News24 on Monday that the new security measures for President Jacob Zuma's first parliamentary address of 2017 on Thursday were unprecedented.

"We are very alarmed about the 'media squares' that Parliament wants to initiate on SONA day," she said.

"Journalists who want to move between two 'media squares' will need a police escort on the day."

This will be the first year that movement is restricted in squares for journalists on the occasion of the president's address.

Van Wyk also said that Lelie* Street, the street leading to the offices of many of the journalists based in Parliament, would be closed and inaccessible.

The PGA acknowledged that certain events required more stringent security protocols at Parliament, but said that free movement was essential for recording the day's events, and no such restrictions had been seen before.

Van Wyk said that getting accredited for the event meant that a journalist had met all the security requirements of Parliament. 

"They then cannot be hindered or obstructed or diverted away from any activity or incident that may occur on the west side of Parliament Street or may be seen from that area."

Assurances 'can't be trusted'

The PGA had met with Parliament and raised the concerns, she said.

"However, these assurances cannot be trusted because they insist on an escort and the corralling of the journalists into a media square.Such an escort can be used to delay or result in the non-reporting of any event of public interest."

Journalists had been assaulted at previous SONAs by "plain-clothed" security officials, she said.

The PGA will lobby the South African National Editor's Forum and various media houses to assist in filing an urgent court application to have the restrictions lifted.

Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana, meanwhile, promised last week that there would be no additional security measures during SONA.

"In terms of our operations, we have not really changed in terms of format from what we have done in the past," he said.

Roads around the precinct will be closed in phases from February 7.

*A previous version of this story incorrectly called Lelie street Spin Street.

Read more on:    parliament  |  cape town  |  sona 2017

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/News
 

Cute pet pictures can improve your relationship!

It’s true! A new study shows animal pics can bring back the spark.

 
 

Paws

7 weirdly awesome pets you can own
Pack theory: fact or fiction?
Perfect dog-walking 1: Why dogs pull on the lead
SA stats: The role of pets in families
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.