Intimidation of Journalists is a No No. Full Stop.



I write to offer my support to Karyn Maughan and all journalists – no matter their publication – in her impending legal battle with former President Zuma.  I am delighted to see that SANEF has come out to denounce such matter and to reaffirm that journalists should be protected against intimidation and bullying.

We, as the media, are here to hold the public, business, and the state to account, by reporting on the news, events and outcomes of matters that are of public interest.  Whether we are members of SANEF or not, the professional members of the South African media corps, uphold a code of ethics and principles in our duty to convey this information.

Intimidation of the media is not new, and for as long as there are unscrupulous individuals and organisations in the world who would prefer their questionable dealings to go un-noticed, we stand in the firing line.  That does not make it right for us to be persecuted or prosecuted for performing our jobs.

Whilst I laud you for publicly decrying the latest attempts to intimidate a journalist, in this case, Ms Maughan, I also note your late encouragement for my own legal situation in which the State Security Agency (SSA), is acting against me.

Your silence at the time of requesting you to make a public statement on this, when I needed your support the most, was deafening.  Nevertheless, I am of course grateful for your recent public acknowledgement of my plight.

These situations should always be dealt with in a non-partisan manner, no matter any tensions between competitive media houses or bodies.  I trust therefore, that I can continue to count on you as this case unfolds, and that your recent public statement was not grandstanding for the sake of SANEF’s public perception as a body that underpins all journalists in their endeavours.

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