PetroSA bars journalists from Parliament meeting

2015-06-10 12:23


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The acting chief executive of PetroSA refused to allow journalists to attend a portfolio committee meeting yesterday. 

The portfolio committee was being briefed by PetroSA and the Central Energy Fund.

The portfolio committee on energy affairs met outside the parliamentary precinct at PetroSA’s office in Parow, Cape Town, where Business Day journalists Carol Paton and Trevor Sampson were denied access to the meeting by security on behalf of Mapula Modipa, acting head of PetroSA. 

DA member of Parliament Gordon Mackay objected and the committee chairperson Fikile Majola initially said the meeting should be open. 

Paton tweeted that Majola made it clear that it was his meeting and it was open to the media. 

However, the meeting went ahead behind closed doors. 

At noon the situation was resolved and Paton could attend the meeting, Parliament spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs said. 

The meeting ended at 1pm. 

In a statement, PetroSA said: “It is not PetroSA’s policy to bar or deny media access to its premises.  Due to the strategic nature of its business, access to its premises is controlled and regulated. Strict procedures have to be followed to gain access to our premises by making prior arrangements.

"The organisers of the portfolio committee meeting on energy failed to advise PetroSA that the meeting was open to the public. A list of all attending delegates was shared by the organisers with PetroSA prior to the meeting which did not have the name of the journalists, nor did it give any indication that the meeting was open to the public. PetroSA security and employees were simply following process and granting access to the delegates whose names were on the guest list. After consultation with the chairperson of the committee, the visitors were let in. The inconvenience to the journalist is regretted.”

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