Ndabeni-Abrahams’ not so free media

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams prevented an SABC reporter from filming a protest at the ANC’s provincial manifesto launch in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.

Video aired by the SABC clearly showed a hand covering the lens of the camera as journalists tried to speak to the protesters. The hand in question belonged to Ndabeni-Abrahams, who later released an official statement apologising for her actions.

According to SABC journalists at the launch, a group of protesters started singing and waving placards while ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile was delivering the keynote address. The journalists said they tried to interview the protesters, but Ndabeni-Abrahams put her hand over the camera lens.

In her official statement, she said: “I would like to offer my sincere apologies for an incident with some members of the media during a provincial rally in Mount Frere while trying to stop the singing comrades. I wish to assure the media and South Africans at large of my unreserved commitment to media freedom. I sincerely regret the incident.”

The SA National Editors’ Forum has condemned Ndabeni-Abrahams’ actions

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