The SOS Coalition welcomes Parliament’s decision to extend the deadline for nominations to 6 December 2010. This will allow Parliament to hold its hearing with the SABC Board on 23 November. The Coalition is hopeful that at this hearing Parliament will finally be able to deal with the various corporate governance breaches that have taken place at the SABC.
His Excellency Jacob Zuma
President of the Republic of South Africa
Private Bag X1000,
BY FAX: +27 12 323 8246
19 August 2010
We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our serious concern at two recent moves by the ruling ANC that seriously threaten press freedom in South Africa.
Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, reminded us in 1994 that: “A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy.” 16 years into democracy, opposition parties, civil society, activists and other stakeholders are facing new realities associated with our democracy - the proposed Protection of Information Bill and Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT).
South African journalists have launched a campaign to fight what they say is an attempt to curtail media freedoms in a nation known for one of Africa's freest and most open Constitutions.
In a declaration published in all main Sunday newspapers, the South African National Editors' Forum says media restrictions proposed by the African National Congress threaten free expression that is the ‘lifeblood’ of the country's democracy since the end of apartheid-era rule in 1994.
6 August 2010
A free press is essential to democracy, transparency and the attainment of equality
6 August 2010
The FXI views recent developments in the media environment as cause for considerable concern.
9 August 2010
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is deeply concerned about the disproportionate and unbalanced accusations about the print media and its journalists made by the ANC in its discussion document: 2010 - Media Transformation, ownership and diversity.
MMA acknowledges that there are key issues facing the print media:
- Concentration of ownership vs. the need for diversity of ownership
Government is under criticism from civil society organisations (CSOs), the media and opposition parties over the Protection of Information Bill.
The Bill, meant to replace an apartheid-era law dating from 1982, includes some problematic (potentially unconstitutional) elements that limit the media’s right to information and could see investigative journalists face up to 25 years in jail for publishing information of ‘public interest’.
The Press Council of South Africa takes issue with a call by the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) for a statutory media appeals tribunal.
In a press statement, the Council’s chairperson, Raymond Louw, points out that imposing of such a tribunal on the press has nothing to do with promoting press freedom but everything to do with the way the press reports on the conduct of governance, including the conduct of Cabinet ministers and other senior officials of the ANC.
Mobile operator, Cell C, has taken the unusual step of publicly responding to criticism by comedian, Trevor Noah, in a recorded comedy clip recently posted on Facebook and YouTube.
In a full-page advertisement published in the Business Day newspaper, Cell CEO, Lars Reichelt, apologised to Noah and other Cell C customers who experience problems of coverage and lack of delivery.