SA committed to media freedom

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Government has reaffirmed its commitment to media freedom on the commemoration of the 42nd Black Wednesday.

“To this day media freedom forms part of one of the important cornerstones of our democracy and freedom. We have in the recent past witnessed the crucial role played by the media in exposing corruption and state capture,” Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said in a statement on Saturday.

On Wednesday, 19 October 1977 the apartheid regime showed its contempt for freedom of expression and media freedom when it banned The World, Weekend World as well as other publications and arrested Percy Qoboza, who was the editor of The World and various other black consciousness activists.

Despite these efforts of the apartheid regime to silence its critics, the people of South Africa defeated the system and democratically adopted a Constitution that guarantees freedom of expression and media freedom. 

The Minister noted that freedom also comes with huge responsibility, and government therefore cautions the media to always self-reflect.

Mthembu welcomed the South African National Editors Forum’s (SANEF) decision to institute an independent media inquiry into media credibility and ethics, headed by retired judge Kathy Satchwell. –