Malema an 'affront to media freedom'

2010-04-09 07:08

Johannesburg - ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's conduct at a media briefing on Thursday was an "affront to media freedom", the Professional Journalists' Association said.

"Malema's conduct is an affront to media freedom and undermines journalists' right to receive and impart information as enshrined in South Africa's Constitution," ProJourn spokesperson, Samantha Perry, said.

"The actions of the youth league president are an attempt to intimidate the media, to prevent them from asking uncomfortable questions or expressing views which differ from those of his organisation."

Perry said ProJourn supported calls by the National Press Club for journalists to walk out of media briefings if such behaviour is repeated by any organisation.

Malema verbally attacked BBC journalist, Jonah Fisher, at a youth league media briefing, calling him a "bastard" and a "bloody agent". Malema also called on security personnel to "get rid of this thing".

Fisher left the briefing, after which Malema dared other journalists to follow his example. Nobody else left.

Malema's attack on Fisher has been widely condemned by media organisations.