National Press Club slams ANC over spat

2012-05-08 08:01

Johannesburg - The National Press Club (NPC) on Tuesday criticised ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu for his "opportunistic" remarks about politicians being members of the club.

"Mthembu must ensure that he has correct information at hand before making factually incorrect and unfounded statements," chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said.

He was responding the African National Congress commenting on Monday that the Cape Town Press Club could not be regarded as a neutral ground for parties that had no right to be there.

Mthembu said in a statement: "This has been vindicated by the partisan attitude demonstrated by chairperson of the National Press Club Mr Yusuf Abramjee and the chairman of the Cape Town Press Club Mr Donwald Pressly towards Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson's protestation against this anomaly. If these bodies continue to operate in this manner they run the risk of alienating themselves."

The "anomaly" Mthembu was referring to was the presence of a Democratic Alliance MP at a press club breakfast on Friday, where the minister had been scheduled to speak.

NPC does not accept politicians

Abramjee said: "We wish to place on record yet again that the NPC does not accept politicians as members.

"We issued a statement yesterday stressing that the NPC's membership is only for members of the media and communication practitioners. They are full time and associate members respectively."

Abramjee said although the Cape Town Press Club was not affiliated to the NPC, he called on it at the weekend to review its membership procedures after it emerged it accepted politicians.

"We are glad that they have since said they will review their membership criteria," Abramjee said.

The NPC said the ANC was "quick to jump to conclusions about our membership without checking its facts, even after [the NPC] stated publicly that politicians do not, and never will, qualify for membership".

Abramjee said the ANC should take up its fight with the Cape Town Press Club directly.


Mthembu was responding to the spat that erupted when Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Joemat-Pettersson protested about speaking at a press club breakfast on Friday, in the presence of DA MP Pieter van Dalen. Van Dalen is a member of the club.

She apparently believed he wanted to use the opportunity to continue a disagreement they had during her budget vote speech on Thursday.

According to her adviser Rams Mabote, the minister had been under the impression she was addressing journalists, not politicians. She told the club that if one political party was there, other parties should also be present.

Van Dalen agreed to leave so the audience would not be denied the opportunity of hearing her speak.

The Cape Town Press Club has more than 500 members, of which 133 are business people and 125 journalists. Club secretary Gloria Barrett said there were 86 members in public relations, 77 uncategorised members, and 52 pensioners.

A small number of writers were registered. About 18 people were registered as politicians. Barrett said politics was a broad category and included city managers and political advisers.

  • ntunjab - 2012-05-08 08:11

    Mr Jack-daniels Mthembu myb u were stil dizzy Hahaha

      slymsloot - 2012-05-08 08:40

      LOL. ANC doesnt worry about facts. According to them they ARE the law.

      Kala - 2012-05-08 08:49

      "Mthembu must ensure that he has correct information at hand before making factually incorrect and unfounded statements," How can a statement be "factually incorrect"? It is either factual or incorrect. Or is this just politician talk... Covering all the bases?

  • Wayne - 2012-05-08 08:13


  • ewanvb - 2012-05-08 08:18

    This is the way that "the freedom of association" is being impacted. When politicians start to dictate who can belong to what, we are in deeper trouble than we thought. If you as an individual would like to partake in a legal entity, or be part of a club, it is your right. For a minister to behave the way that Ms. Joemat-Pettersson did, well it lets a lot to be desired of our politicians. She should just have given her speech. Why make an issue of one member of the CPC? The question is what did she want to hide or what propaganda did she want to share without being told that it was incorrect?

  • CliveK - 2012-05-08 08:20

    Since when has the ANC been bothered by facts?

  • Herman - 2012-05-08 08:22

    Does the anc ever got their facts right? they are just a big circus with no tent.

      Piet - 2012-05-08 08:33

      You are so right about the circus, the only thing in a circus you can train and teach the animals.....

  • Neutedop - 2012-05-08 08:23

    Wonder what it takes to be a politician? If you can not even answer questions from other people, you must know your whole department is up to sh.. You lead a national department, with our money, and have to explain to whoever ask whatever.....nevermind their status/job.

  • Bomb - 2012-05-08 08:30

    The ANC reminds me of a bunch of 5 year olds around a bowl with 1 lollipop left. Oh man, they are hilarious.

      Press - 2012-05-08 10:25

      Isin't it rather like getting married under an ante nuptial contract and the next day you discover you married a psycho . . less hilarious . . .

  • mholthuysen - 2012-05-08 08:32

    Facts? Bwahahaha - this is the ANC - facts never matter; their entire existence is based on fiction...!

  • Cornelius - 2012-05-08 08:37

    The events at Cape Town Press Club removed the mask from media practitioners masquerading as apolitical and truth tellers. Its a shame for a DA MP to be taken as a journalist. Yosuf supported the Cape Town Press Club when the issue was first reported but when the ANC hits back, he then disassociates his organisation from the Cape Town branch. What a shame!

      Manu - 2012-05-08 08:55

      Good observation - 2012-05-08 09:03

      I may agree that allowing anyone to be a member of the Cape Town Press Club is questionable but you are missing the point. The membership criteria of the Cape Town Press Club is public. It's incumbent upon the prospective speaker to check on the prospective audience before accepting the speaking engagement. The Minister has plenty of assistants that are meant to prepare her speaking engagements. She slipped up, its as simple as that. If she had turned down the speaking invitation because the Cape Town Press Club is not only the media then no-one would have batter an eyelid. She slipped up and failed to do her homework. It's as simple as that. If she take that sort of diligence through to her day to day work then it may explain why her department is in trouble. Now the ANC spokesperson is opportunistic and blames the NPC for her mistake? To cap it all the NPC does not accept non-media people - 2012-05-08 09:26

      Excuse the typos in my post. I must really learn to proof read. a) 'Batter' an eyelid should be 'batted' b) Duplication of sentence containing 'slipped up'. c) 'take' that sort of diligence should be 'takes'

      Lerato - 2012-05-08 09:40

      @David if one goes to a soccer match they expect to see soccer players and not hockey players! Same here, press club must be composed of members of the press not politicians, shadowing ministers for that matter, he is now taking his shadowing to extremes. Thanks to Jackson for exposing this Cape Town joke - 2012-05-08 15:46

      @Lerato - You did see that there are ANC MPs that are members (maybe including some that attended the ministers talk) But if you insist on using the soccer analogy I would look at the team description and teamsheet before I went to the game. If there were celebrities in the team I would take that into consideration The Minister didn't do her homework

  • Gordon - 2012-05-08 08:42

    can News24 write a headline without using the word "SLAM". Every time someone has a difference of opinion, the "slam" the other party

      SkyMarkyMarkD - 2012-05-08 08:52

      Exactly my thought - I opened this article to make a similar comment. Its very annoying!

  • howard.komati - 2012-05-08 08:51

    Mthembu is a ball boy of the ANC im suprised tht its only nw tht people realise tht he is an opportunist who enjoys the downfall of other people including his own comrades. He is a puppy and a hopeless one.

  • Piet - 2012-05-08 09:01

    They so want to be communists!

      Slick - 2012-05-08 10:25

      Want to be communists Piet? LOL. Take a look at who is at the Top of the Government structures. Gwede Mantashe, Minister Blade Nzimande - Higher Education, Minister Rob Davies- DTI, Minister Joemat- Pettersson - DAFF. Not to mention the others in other Governmental structures. Look how tight the RSA has become will ALL communist countries. IN fact, so tight they actually welded. Need more be said, other than is the RSA not already a communist country?

      Cayowin - 2012-05-08 11:34

      How to turn a communist to a capitalist? Show them the money.

  • Sonja - 2012-05-08 09:12

    cANCer *** HATE *** the media...exept when they need it.

  • Lerato - 2012-05-08 09:33

    Abramjee said: \We wish to place on record yet again that the NPC does not accept politicians as members.\ Funny how some DA sheep were in full support of the Hon Shadow Minister's membership on an earlier report. Please people be rational enough, not everything DA is devine! Let me sit down and LOL

      Cayowin - 2012-05-08 11:39

      uummmm just to point out - the NPC does not allow non media (politicians) as members. However the story is about the CTPC which the shadow minister is a member of, along with 17 other politicians, as the CTPC DOES allow political members. Did you even read the story ??? Scroll up, read, think, process. Then comment make special note of the line. "Abramjee said ... the Cape Town Press Club was not affiliated to the NPC..."

  • Slick - 2012-05-08 09:48

    Damnn, They still ranting on about this matter , like a bunch of school children without toys or a Lollipop! The Minister will soon be called to account for her actions as a Minister to ME and the unsuspecting population on many horrendous and dire matters she has permitted and permits. As per previous comments on the previous articles regarding this matter I have posted. Again. She can hide from the population, the press and press clubs, the DA and or any other party. THE MADAM MINISTER WILL NOT HIDE FROM ME FOR MUCH LONGER AND SHE BETTER BE READY TO "FIGHT FIRE, WITH FIRE". For the validated and verified evidence I have against the Dysfunctional, Immoral,Despicable,Unethical Department where she is the "BOSS". IS NOTHING LESS THAN DAMNING!Even the Press and other Media Forums have been running Petrified of what has been and is going to be exposed, even they have had sight of numerous evidences. However The unsuspecting public WILL know the TRUTH, press or no press. Interestingly enough. A criminal court case set down in the first week of June where the first of many Leading Food and Beverage Companies in South Africa face criminal investigation for advertising, marketing, distributing and selling INCORRECTLY labeled product/s for an extensive amount of time. A Fraudulent and Horrendously Health abusive business mannerism allowed by the DAFF, until DAFF was exposed for not fulfilling its Mandate and NOT prohibiting this to occur. WHY NOT Minister, WHY NOT??

      Slick - 2012-05-08 10:08

      The Minister and her Department and let be known ALL the other Governmental Food and Beverage Regulating Authorities are NO lesser EVIL CRIMINALS than those in the Food and Beverage and Hospitality Industries as whole, they have protected and continue to protect unabated at this time. The reason why the Public Protector has also been afforded the complaint. Whose responses are presently and eagerly awaited. Irrespective of that aforementioned. Is the Press and other Media Forums that have had knowledge of these heinous and dastardly Food and Beverage complaint/s for many years. Also not to be considered criminals for NOT exposing what they knew to the unsuspecting public? Their excuses always been. The Government Departments refuse to answer them on the matter etc etc. Why would the Government refuse to answer if the there was NO truth in the complaints? So much for the Investigative Journalism in South Africa that affects and effects the NATION well being as a whole, for more years than can even be guessed at. Makes one think, does it NOT!

  • Seena - 2012-05-08 10:26

    hardworking press club, who do they work for?

  • le.taks - 2012-05-08 10:47

    Yusuf Abramjee slamed the minister calling her and the anc "arrogant and silly" for refusing to speak in the presence of his DA pals.. you can go chack the records.. when the anc responds he cry Wolf.. funny Yusuf very Funny

      Slick - 2012-05-08 13:02

      The Minister is NOT a ANC member you silly uneducated person. SHES A COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBER,DUH!!

  • Senzo Mathebula - 2012-05-08 10:49

    @news24 ur headline is misleading

  • Jacqui - 2012-05-08 11:28

    Mthembu, the ANC's scorpion, just blabbers and blabbers and never say a senseable word. Typical of the load of waste he represents.

  • Diego - 2012-05-08 20:15

    So this guy goes in public and defend the Cape town Press club now he is distancing himself from this and he claims there are no politicians on the club NPC for that matter. Why did he defend Cape town Press club if when it’s suit him he reverts back to his original club(NPC). Typical hypocrite DA supporter who will say anything to blame ANC

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