DA calls on SANEF to condemn ANC’s media manipulation

Issued by Ashor Sarupen MP – Deputy Federal Campaign Manager
22 Apr 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Ashor Sarupen MP.

In a recent leaked recording from an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, shocking revelations have come to light regarding the manipulation of the public purse to fund the ANC’s election campaign. This not only undermines the principles of democracy but also directly attacks media freedom.

In the recording, President Ramaphosa can be clearly heard saying: “TV stations have no right to be negative towards us… We want more than fair treatment (from the media). There will be a team of comrades who will be watching this space all the time.”

The President’s directive to control media narratives and suppress negative coverage of the ANC is deeply concerning and reminiscent of past attempts to capture vital institutions like the SABC. This blatant manipulation seeks to sway public opinion and undermine the democratic process.

In light of these revelations, the DA calls on the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) to condemn this egregious manipulation of the media. SANEF, as a champion of media freedom and democracy, must not stay silent in the face of such flagrant abuses of power.

We urge SANEF to uphold its constitutional objectives, particularly Section 4.1.1, which emphasises the promotion of a free, independent, and pluralistic press. It is imperative that SANEF takes a firm stance against any attempts to coerce or control journalists in their reporting duties.

The DA will not stand by while media freedom is under threat. We will utilise parliamentary channels to fight against this manipulation and ensure that the voices of journalists are protected from such abuse.

SANEF must act swiftly and decisively to safeguard the integrity of the media and protect journalists from undue influence and intimidation. Failure to do so would not only compromise the credibility of the press but also jeopardise the very foundation of our democracy.