ANCYL supports Manyi in media row
Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League came out in support of government spokesman Jimmy Manyi on Wednesday saying the media was committed to false reporting and spreading lies.
"We support comrade Jimmy Manyi in his efforts to engage on a balance of truths as opposed to being a subject of the Fourth Estate, one which should forever be committed to unbiased reporting, objective truth based on fact and not personal hatred against the government led by the ANC," a league statement, signed by its spokespeople Magdalene Moonsamy and Floyd Shivambu, read.
This follows an interview Manyi conducted on 702 Talk Radio on Tuesday where he said the media were hostile, that it was a fiction that government advertising would be placed with pro-government publications, and that the SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) had shown "almost cartel-like tendencies".
The league remained resolute in its stance that Sanef had committed itself to rejecting and denouncing anything positive about the ruling ANC and the government.
"This has been continuously exposed by the negative reports, allegations and doomsayer approach with which the media commits itself to reporting about the ANC.
"It should not be that in a country that allows one the privilege of freedom of speech through the Constitution that an expression of truth against the media is equated to treason and should be a punishable offence. This, especially when the media is committed to false reporting and spreading of lies."
The "notorious tendencies" of personal hatred towards the ANC were unwelcome.
"We will support [comrade] Jimmy as we have no valued faith in Sanef and its puppets. We will strive for the hasty installation of the media appeals tribunal and remain resolute that our people are not naive to the threats made by Sanef.
"We are aware of their cruel intent and will never become slaves to a media that is failing to attack the ANC with facts and hence relies on lies."
Shivambu is a director of youth magazine Loocha which launched last week with league president Julius Malema on its cover.
The group editor is Joseph Aranes, who was political editor of The Cape Argus when it was reported he and other staffers were allegedly paid by rivals within the ANC to manage news articles in such a way as to damage the political ambitions of their opponents.
The Christian Democratic Party called on the government and Sanef to "seriously attempt to find common ground so that the freedom of the press will be firmly established through convention, for the sake of a well informed public and an unhindered ability to combat corruption.”
Sanef wrote to Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, who is Manyi's boss, asking for an urgent meeting to discuss what Sanef feels are deteriorating relations between themselves and Manyi.