Minister defends conduct at Press Club

2012-05-04 22:01
Johannesburg - Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson defended her refusal on Friday to speak at the Cape Town Press Club in the presence of a DA shadow minister.

"Minister Joemat-Pettersson said she was under the impression that being invited to a press club meant addressing members of the media, not politicians," her adviser Rams Mabote said in a statement.

Joemat-Pettersson refused to speak at the club's breakfast briefing on Friday, unless Democratic Alliance shadow minister Pieter van Dalen, a member of the club, left.

Van Dalen said he agreed to do so because he did not want to deny the audience the opportunity of hearing her speak.

Mabote said: "The minister told the press club that respectfully, if they invite one political party, then they should invite all other political parties."

Had she known it would be a political event, she would have attended in her capacity as member of the African National Congress's national executive and national working committees.

Mabote said he could not understand why the club took exception to the minister's reaction.

"The minister goes to Parliament... she addresses politicians every day, so why is she expected to at the Press Club? Why don't they invite other political parties, then?"

He said Joemat-Pettersson's office did not know her shadow minister would be at the event, contending this was not the appropriate setting for political debate.

Joemat-Pettersson did not ask Van Dalen to leave, but communicated this through the club's chairperson Donwald Pressly.

"The minister even offered to leave herself if the Press Club had issues with her misgivings."

Mabote said it appeared Van Dalen wished to capitalise on the briefing to continue a disagreement the two had during her budget vote speech on Thursday.

Arrogance

Earlier, Van Dalen said Joemat-Pettersson's conduct was unacceptable.

"If minister Joemat-Pettersson can't take the heat, she needs get out of the kitchen," he said.

Pressly was similarly unimpressed: "One is surprised that an elected politician and servant of the entire electorate is unable to take the heat of probing questions from whatever quarter."

National Press Club chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said the minister's conduct "smacks of arrogance and this nonsense must stop".

Van Dalen said he had been looking forward to hearing her, as she did not often speak with the media or public.

Van Dalen said the minister's behaviour indicated "a disregard for basic principles on which our democracy is based, such as accountable and responsive governance".

Joemat-Pettersson had allowed her personal sentiments to affect her ability to do her job, he said.

On Thursday, he called on Joemat-Pettersson to resign during the debate on her department's budget vote due to "her questionable performance over the last three years and the poor state of her department".

Irrational

Van Dalen said her conduct at the Press Club was "irrational".

"I am even more resolute in my belief that the minister is unfit to hold public office".

Pressly said Joemat-Pettersson's office had accused the club of dishonesty over its guest list to the breakfast meeting.

"Van Dalen is a fully paid-up member of the Cape Town Press Club, and as such is entitled to attend any Cape Town Press Club event he chooses to attend," he said in a statement.

Pressly said the minister's office had "no prerogative" to dictate to the club which of its members were allowed to attend its own meetings.

"Perhaps it is a case of the answers being potentially embarrassing, rather than the questions," he said.

Abramjee said he would not have allowed Joemat-Pettersson to address the meeting if she was not prepared to speak in front of Van Dalen.

He said it was "disrespectful" of her to use the public platform provided by the Cape Town Press club for "petty politicking".

- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  pieter van dalen  |  yusuf abramjee  |  tina joemat-pettersson  |  donwald pressly  |  politics  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
58 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

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.