Hands off our journalists - SABC slams death threats to staff

2019-07-25 14:21
SABC. (File)

SABC. (File)

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The SABC on Thursday condemned death threats and harassment directed at its journalists.

"The continuing intimidation of our journalists, who are committed to delivering untrammelled news and current affairs content to the South African public, is in itself a threat to the public mandate," said group executive for news and current affairs Phathiswa Magopeni.

She said they were extremely concerned about death threats recently directed at its journalists who were covering various issues across the country, including cases of alleged corruption.

"The public broadcaster has further noted, and is disturbed by, recent instances of political and corporate bullying directed at its news service staff, with some of these happening on social media platforms."

Magopeni said these online threats were deliberately intended to weaken the SABC's ability to report "courageously, fairly and comprehensively on all matters of public interest".

She said members of the public were encouraged to raise any complaints directly with the SABC if they thought its coverage was unfair.

She also directed the public to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA), and the Press Council of South Africa (PCSA).

"The SABC is sincerely appealing to the public to give its journalists a safe space to do their work, in a manner that guarantees transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.

"This can only be achieved when the environment is conducive to ensuring plurality in the voices featured in its news content, indiscriminately and without prejudice," said Magopeni.

She assured the public of the broadcaster's "firm commitment to continue delivering news and information in an unrestrained, independent and impartial manner".

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