Durban journalists, Right2know say no to Hlaudi

2016-07-01 12:50
Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Simone Kley

Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Simone Kley

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Durban - A group of Durban journalists, together with members of the Right2Know campaign, on Friday added their voices to the call for media freedom to be preserved and for SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng's resignation.

Support for the call was indicated by motorists on KE Masinga Road who hooted as they drove past demonstrators.

Around 30 picketing journalists shouted "Hlaudi must go" and "Viva media freedom, viva".

Dressed in black, journalists spoke of the "threat to media freedom" holding up placards reading "run Hlaudi run" and "Not in our name".

Speaking to News24, retired SABC cameraman of 41 years, Clive Read, said he had become disillusioned with his former employer.

"It's not like the old SABC where they used to do investigative pieces, now it is just political. There is a threat to media freedom."

Read said working at the SABC was frustrating and not gratifying.

"Most of the time it is political speeches from the ruling party. We need real news."

Media freedom

Editor at Independent Media's The Mercury Fikile Moyo said media freedom was an important part of democracy in South Africa.

"The right for media practitioners to practice [together with] the right for the public to know is as much of a right as a right to vote or decent housing. I see this as a media freedom and workers' rights issue."

Moyo said the public broadcaster's upper management should “take a moment to reflect on something other than their pockets".

"They must do what is right. History is an unsentimental judge. It will judge them harshly for taking a stance against freedom. It will judge them the same way Bantustan leaders were judged."

Right2Know Durban spokesperson Thabane Miya said the campaign wants Motsoeneng to resign.

"We will protest until he resigns. This whole demonstration for us centres on journalists that were suspended because of covering a protest. That is censorship. How can you suspend someone who is doing their job? SABC as a whole is in tatters."

Read more on:    sabc  |  media freedom

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