SANEF condemns attacks on journalists, unprofessional behaviour by journalists

SANEF condemns attacks, 'unprofessional behaviour' by journalists

The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) is concerned by what it calls the escalating harassment and abuse of journalists.

Sanef vs BLF cout_jacs
Photo: Slindelo Masikane

This comes after journalists Alex Mitchley of News24, Hanti Otto of Netwerk24 and Pule Letshwiti from etv were approached and threatened by a state witness in the Nicholas Ninow case.


According to Mitchley, the state witness in the Ninow case approached them fuming outside the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday during a tea break and asking why media houses named him.


SANEF's Media Freedom Chairperson, Mary Papayya, says the recent spate of attacks on journalists, not only by politicians but now also the public, in general, is concerning to the forum. 


"We are finding that female journalists face an additional burden, they are attacked purely on their gender and in South Africa today that is totally unacceptable."


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Meanwhile, Papayya adds the forum does not support unprofessional behaviour on the part of any journalist.


This comes after EWN journalist Barry Bateman used unsavoury words following a media briefing by Economic Freedom Front (EFF) leader Julius Malema outside the Hawks offices in Tshwane on Tuesday.


Papayya says in this case, rather than being a highly-contested debate on social media, it should be dealt with the employer concerned.


"In this case we note that employer Primedia has apologised and has launched an investigation into the matter."


Papayya adds this incident should not be used as an excuse to trigger an all-out attack on the media and journalists as a collective.


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