Ramaphosa’s henchmen must leave media freedom alone

Issued by Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Shadow Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies
29 Apr 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Natasha Mazzone MP.

The DA is deeply concerned by allegations that the SABC Group’s Head of News, Moshoeshoe Monare, is being intimidated by the State Security Agency (SSA). This is especially worrying following recently leaked audio, where President Cyril Ramaphosa can be heard vowing to “challenge” and “fiercely confront” the ANC’s negative publicity, in the run up to our elections next month.

The DA rejects any intimidation or threats against the media, whose independence is paramount to a robust democracy. The latest allegations, from a media veteran like Mr Monare, who has been in his position at the SABC for over two years, speaks volumes.

Mr Monare was vetted when he took up the role, so further vetting now from the SSA is very irregular. If the SSA had genuine cause to investigate Morane, they would follow proper processes and not allegedly contact him to demand a polygraph test. Abuse of the SSA, however is a known ploy from the ANC playbook, who sought to use the intelligence agency for political motives under their former President, Jacob Zuma.

In case the ANC has not figured it out yet, the SABC is not a state-owned entity and as a Public Broadcaster, is owned by all South Africans. They do not have free reign over the SABC, as they do with Eskom, Transnet, and all the other SOEs they have broken.

The DA stands with a free press and a democratic society. We remain vigilant of the ANC’s growing authoritarianism. It is a pity that Ramaphosa is upset by bad media – perhaps he should realise that it is his failed government and party that are bad, not the media.