Sanef applauds SABC 8 for courage during inquiry

2016-12-14 22:10
SABC journalist Lukhanyo Calata protests for journalist's rights outside the SABC offices in Cape Town. (File, Paul Herman, News24)

SABC journalist Lukhanyo Calata protests for journalist's rights outside the SABC offices in Cape Town. (File, Paul Herman, News24)

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Durban – Sanef on Wednesday applauded the courage of and commitment to ethical journalism the so-called SABC 8 journalists displayed by testifying before Parliament's ad-hoc committee this week.

“Sanef condemns the harassment, and even death threats against the SABC 8, and other witnesses at the inquiry,” SA National Editors’ Forum media freedom sub-committee chairperson, Sam Mkokeli, said in a statement.

Four members of the group, economics editor Thandeka Gqubule, SAFM current affairs executive producer Krivani Pillay, parliamentary journalist Lukhanyo Calata and former contributing editor Vuyo Mvoko represented the eight at committee’s hearings on Monday. It is holding an inquiry into the fitness of the SABC’s current board to do its work.  

They described a reign of impunity and culture of fear, interference, and censorship at the public broadcaster.

Mkokeli said what had been revealed proceedings thus far had shocked the nation and brought shame on the public broadcaster.

“Not only has editorial independence been trampled on, but so has the Broadcasting Act and the Constitution. We are deeply concerned about the allegations that the SABC paid for the establishment of ANN7 and funded The New Age's promotional events.”

There were suggestions that fraud may have been committed. Sanef called on Parliament to instruct police to investigate the disclosures and allegations.

Mkokeli said the committee’s chairperson, Vincent Smith, had described the intimidation of the SABC 8 as an assault on Parliament.

He supported Smith’s call for police and other agencies to investigate and ensure the safety of the SABC 8 and other witnesses at the inquiry.

Sanef appealed to the ad-hoc committee to do whatever it took to keep the SABC operational and restore its credibility and good governance.

 

Read more on:    sanef  |  sabc  |  media

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