ANC's tribunal stance unchanged
Johannesburg - The African National Congress's (ANC) stance on a media tribunal remained the same as in the Polokwane resolutions, a party spokesperson said on Sunday.
This came after ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, told some 500 delegates at a Free State Conference in Bloemfontein on Saturday that the institution of a media tribunal was not up for debate.
"I don't know what Julius (Malema) said, I didn't hear him," ANC spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi told Sapa.
"But the ANC's viewpoint of the media tribunal remains the same as the Polokwane resolution."
According to the Polokwane resolution, which was taken at the party's 52nd National Congress in 2007, the "Conference adopts the recommendation of the Policy conference that the establishment of a MAT (Media Appeals Tribunal) be investigated".
It further "endorses that such investigation be directed at examining the principle of a MAT and the associated modalities for implementation.
'Make it law'
"Conference notes that the creation of a MAT would strengthen, complement and support the current self-regulatory institutions (Press Ombudsman/Press Council) in the public interest."
In his address to Saturday's youth league conference, Malema said: "We have already decided. We want Parliament to appoint a tribunal, make it law."
Malema said the media must be regulated because "they think they are untouchable".
"These people are dangerous," he told the delegates. He said: "They write gossip and present it as facts."
Malema was echoing his organisation's support for the tribunal expressed earlier in the week.
On Wednesday the youth league said in a statement its parent party should not be discussing the media tribunal, but rather introduce it now to tackle what they believe are attacks on their organisation and others.
The possibility of a media tribunal has drawn widespread criticism. On Tuesday the ANC would meet with media representatives at Lilliesleaf in Sandton, Johannesburg, to discuss, amongst others, the tribunal.
"We'll talk about it on Tuesday," Mnisi said.
"But we stick with the Polokwane resolution that the possibility of a media tribunal should be investigated."