DA is silencing the media - ANC

2011-02-13 19:59

Johannesburg - The DA's blacklisting of a Sowetan journalist is an attempt to silence media who do not favourably report on the party, the ANC said on Sunday.

"This represents a serious onslaught on the freedom of the press and the right for access to information," the office of ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said in a statement.

"The public have a right to know what the DA does... the party therefore has no right to withhold information from journalists it feels are not writing sweetheart stories."

The DA blacklisted the Sowetan's Cape political correspondent Anna Majavu, a former spokesperson for the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu), in August claiming she had a "political agenda".

The DA's executive director of communications and research Ross van der Linde confirmed to the Sowetan on Thursday that the party had cut communication with Majavu.

"Majavu is not a journalist. Some journalists and editors disagree with our policies and views, and they are entitled to do so, but Anna Majavu is a former Samwu spin doctor, who has a particular political agenda," Van der Linde said.

No obligation

He said the DA was not obliged to send information to any individual or organisation.

Majavu said her woes with the party started when she wrote a story about how DA MP Pieter van Dalen allegedly shot at two children in Khayelitsha.

The Sowetan said Majavu based her story on a report by advocate Pierre van Tonder, who adjudicated in the matter of an appeal by a metro police officer who was dismissed.

"The officer, with Van Dalen, shot rubber bullets at two children playing soccer in Khayelitsha late at night," the Sowetan alleged.

Van Dalen, who was a councillor at the time of the incident, accompanied metro police officers during the xenophobic attacks in 2008.

The ANC accused DA leader Helen Zille of "throwing temper tantrums" after an SABC reporter recently "asked her a difficult question".

According to the ANC, the Cape Argus reported in 2009 that Zille called and threatened one of its journalists, screaming: "I'm taking you all down, including the editors."

This, after journalist Lindsay Dentlinger reported on the premier's majority white, all-male cabinet.

The ANC said the Times's Abdul Milazi had written on his blog last year that he received a threatening call from a DA representative after the paper published the story on the DA MP's shooting in Khayelitsha.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  samwu  |  mathole motshekga  |  helen zille  |  politics
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