ANC: Tribunal best way to regulate media

2012-01-31 13:25

Johannesburg - An independent media appeals tribunal is the most effective way to regulate print media, the African National Congress said on Tuesday.

"We want to be clear, we are advocating an independent regulation of the media, unencumbered by commercial or political party interests," ANC executive committee member Jessie Duarte told the Press Freedom Commission (PFC) in Johannesburg.

"The ANC believes in independent regulation. This may differ with the interpretation that is commonly assigned to our proposal, which has been misinterpreted as having state regulation of the media."

'Shabby journalism'

Duarte was joined by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu at the PFC's public hearing.

Mthembu suggested Parliament look into the possibility of forming an independent body in the same vein as the office of the public protector and Independent Electoral Commission.

"Such a body should not have a vested interest in business, politics or the media itself," he said.

"The ANC cannot tell Parliament what to come up with, only that they find something that will satisfy all of South Africa."

Duarte said the appeals tribunal was needed because print media was, in her view, dominated by shabby journalism, irresponsible reporting, an ineffective press ombudsman and a lack of accountability.

Mthembu said the tribunal would impose penalties and sanctions on an agency or publication regardless of the severity of its infractions. It would have an accountability mechanism that would sanction without compromising constitutionally protected rights.

"With the Press Council and ombudsman, the assumption is always the same and the publication just withdraws the story and apologises - immaterial of the severity," he said.

Free media

"We do not want something that is anti-media. The struggle that all of us engaged in has made a free media possible."

Former Sunday Times editor and current Avusa editor-in-chief Mondli Makhanya said the Press Council was still an effective regulatory body for print media.

"The currency of our profession is credibility, without it we are nothing. Apologising is an effective sanction. Journalists do not want to stand in front of the public and say they were wrong," he said.

"There are front page apologies that I had to do at The Sunday Times, and it is still something I feel deeply about... They are still open wounds."

  • Willie - 2012-01-31 13:31

    "...unencumbered by commercial or political party interests..." then stop interfering at SABC lead by example Mrs Duarte

      David - 2012-01-31 14:21

      It's now officially SANC 1, 2 and 3.His Master's voice.

  • Comrade - 2012-01-31 13:37

    ANC under appartheid .... WE DEMAND FREE UNCENSORED MEDIA. ANC under Democracy ......We Demand regulation and censored media!! ANC = PATHETIC !!!

      procold2 - 2012-01-31 13:58

      if it wasnt so serious it would be a joke, the only hope of getting the masses to vote for an oppisition is naming and shaming the corrupt ANC officials,if they censor the news we will never know whats true.

      Celtis - 2012-01-31 14:19

      Can I be so bold to ask that the person who gives thumbs down here explain why? Perhaps we do not see the full picture.

      Twain - 2012-01-31 16:19

      @stinkhout Probably because he said "ANC = PATHETIC". Can't go right out and say something like that, despite what the evidence says.

      ashley.keung1 - 2012-01-31 18:04

      It just shows what a great leader Mr Mandela was, if only the rest of the ANC could follow what he fought, instead going back to the typical greedy african leader mentality. Our new leaders are turning all Mr Mandelas hard work into a zimbabwe slowly but surely. Well done guys carry on

  • Grant - 2012-01-31 13:51

    Independent - BWAAAHAAAHAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jymiro - 2012-01-31 13:56

    Press freedom comes with responsibility. For Makhaya to say an apology is an appropriate sanction is tantamount to evading responsibility

  • wesleywt - 2012-01-31 13:58

    No its not. There should be no regulation. Its freedom of speech that goes first in a dictatorship.

  • ssegaetsho - 2012-01-31 14:04

    Mondli Makhanya is also talking rubbish as well. An apology is not enough.

      Nosiphom - 2012-01-31 14:43

      If you are not happy with an apology then sue and not go to the ombud - simple! Warning though, even JZ struggled to sue Zapiro by the way.

      Tshifhiwa - 2012-01-31 15:15

      @Nosiphom yes he did struggle or he is still struggling hence the need to have an independent body that it's become easier to sue such people. Our media is one sided, Just look at how white person death gets media attention as oppose to a black man death.

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-01-31 14:05

    OMG, this ANC bunch think the rest of the people in the country are total idiots!! ANC why dont you relinquish control and influence over the SABC?? Coz you cant afford to lose that manyvotes as a result of your ongoing indoctrination and anti-anything not ANC propoganda

  • comrade.zondi - 2012-01-31 14:22

    URGENT WARNING URGENT WARNING Our Inkosi tokoloshe has found out that the zombie snakes are back. They rub muti on their skins and are invisible. They slither into taxis and eat the brains of women. The zombie women are evil. Tell everybody and warn them. Eish.

  • Werner Lombard - 2012-01-31 14:36

    There goes the freedom of the press

  • Andres - 2012-01-31 14:38

    Okay, if you want an independent "Media Appeals Tribunal", we the people of South Africa want an independent "Cadre Deployment and Public Spending Appeals Tribunal."

  • annie.kalahari - 2012-01-31 14:52

    'tribunal' has such a genocidal ring to it. How incredibly stupid the ANC is being, calling for this 'media tribunal'. Does the ANC leadership have ANY idea how their long-time friends overseas view these 'tribunal' plans? Or don't they care that all their international aid might come to a screeching halt? Chances are growing that this will happen if the ANC insists on continuing on their route to suppress the news media. More and more calls are issued in the European parliaments to stop all international development-aid to South Africa because of this - in addition to the untrammeled government fraud of course.

  • Traygon - 2012-01-31 15:05

    "We want to be clear, we are advocating an independent regulation of the media, unencumbered by commercial or political party interests," OF COURSE!!!!! Look at the amazing track record we have in South Africa, not a single BIT of corruption ANYWHERE! This will work. PoopHol.

  • Nosiphom - 2012-01-31 15:17

    And if the Tribunal is too independent and makes too many judgements against the ANC and some improtant leaders we will need another body to vet the judgement. Recently some voices in the ANC have been advocating for a body where judgements from the independent judiciary can be reviewed. How many layers of review panels will we end up having??

      Wollie - 2012-01-31 18:04

      I am with you on this. Look at the ANC's response to court judgements by black judges. If theyt find in favour of the ANC they are their comrades. If they find against the ANC they are the lapdogs of the white capitalist minority. As for how many layers of review we can end up with - as many as is needed to ensure the ANC's view is recognised i guess?

  • Mark - 2012-01-31 15:23

    The ANC can try and suppress the freedom of the press but they can never suppress the voice of the people. Should they succeed in passing this bill that they want to suppress the media with then every journalist and whoever else can just publish their stories online, on servers based overseas, and even on Facebook. You will never silence us! "V" for Victory!

      Adrian - 2012-01-31 20:02

      And this is what they fail to understand, the more despotic their behaviour the more it gets world wide attention. Facebook and Twitter are being blamed for the Arab revolutions. Next in line, are the African awakenings. Our dictators are panicking.

  • Raul - 2012-01-31 19:56

    Isn't this Duarte the one who possessed a forged driver's licence and was very upset when the media published the story or was someone else?

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