Last week, shocking revelations concerning the activities of the ANC Youth League spokesperson, Nyiko Floyd Shivambu, came to the fore. According to a letter published in various news outlets, a complaint was laid by 19 political journalists with the Secretary General of the ANC, against Shivambu. This complaint letter detailed attempts by Shivambu to leak a dossier to certain journalists, purporting to expose the money laundering practices of Dumisani Lubisi, a journalist at the City Press. The letter also detailed the intimidation that followed when these journalists refused to publish these revelations.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the reprisals against journalists by Shivambu. His actions constitute a blatant attack on media freedom and a grave infringement on Constitutional rights. It is a disturbing step towards dictatorial rule in South Africa. We call on the ANC and the ANC Youth League to distance themselves from the actions of Shivambu. The media have, time and again, been a vital democratic safeguard by exposing the actions of individuals who have abused their positions of power for personal and political gain.
The press have played a vital role in the liberation struggle, operating under difficult and often dangerous conditions to document some of the most crucial moments in the struggle against apartheid. It is therefore distressing to note that certain people within the ruling party are willing to maliciously target journalists by invading their privacy and threatening their colleagues in a bid to silence them in their legitimate work.
We also note the breathtaking hubris displayed by Shivambu and the ANC Youth League President, Julius Malema, in their response to the letter of complaint. Shivambu and Malema clearly have no respect for the media and the rights afforded to the media by the Constitution of South Africa. Such a response serves only to reinforce the position that the motive for leaking the so-called dossier was not a legitimate concern, but an insolent effort to intimidate and bully a journalist who had exposed embarrassing information about the Youth League President.
We urge the ANC as a whole to reaffirm its commitment to media freedom and other Constitutional rights we enjoy as a country.
For Kevin Bloom’s story on The Daily Maverick yesterday about Sipho Hlongwane’s campaign, click here.
Two bored subs in an email conversation… It’s funnier if you know what copy we were working on at the time. Or, perhaps, not funnier, just (even) sillier.
T: Cool beans… and good karma.
Ralph: Coffee beans… and good java 😉
T: Jumping beans… and a shot of tequila :p
Ralph: Has beens… and a shot to the head 🙂
T: Magic beans… and sacred cows.
Ralph: Fee fi fo fum, I smell… holy bull crap!
T: I don’t understand why the government is getting so excited about Cofit, when it hasn’t sorted out Refit properly yet.
Mim: What’s Cofit?
T: The cogeneration feed-in tariff.
T: Also, why do they have to have all these silly acronyms? Like, why can’t all the tariffs just be called one thing?
Mim: They just want to make people feel excluded.
T: Ja, like the poor solar power people. They need get their own tariff; it could be called Sofit.
Mim: What they really need is a Sowhat tariff!
2. I bought me some pretty clothes from Hip Hop. Not so pretty for my bank balance but, you know, at least they were on sale.
T: Guess who’s playing in Jozi next weekend?
Pim: Vanessa Williams.
Mim: What do you know about Vanessa Williams?
Pim: Vanessa Williams, the tennis player…
T: I was talking about music.
Mim: Ja, that’s what I thought.
T: Guess again.
T: No, they’re playing here next month.
Pim: Die Antwoord.
T: That took some time…
1. Caffeine, nicotine, biltong.
2. Being grateful that I’m not a revise sub.
3. The promise of a drink at the end of the evening.