‘Sanef must condemn Ramaphosa’s declaration of war on media’

The DA has called on the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) to condemn the ANC’s manipulation of the media.

This comes after allegations by the DA that President Cyril Ramaphosa stated in a leaked recording that the media has no right to be negative towards the ANC.

Ashor Sarupen, a DA MP and deputy federal campaign manager, said Ramaphosa’s order to censor unfavourable coverage of the ANC and control media narratives is alarming and reminds the party of previous attempts to seize important institutions like the SABC.

Media freedom

“In a recent leaked recording from an ANC national executive committee meeting, shocking revelations have come to light regarding the manipulation of the public purse to fund the ANC’s election campaign,” Sarupen said.

“This not only undermines the principles of democracy but also directly attacks media freedom.”

Ramaphosa is audibly heard on the recording, according to Sarupen, saying: “TV stations have no right to be negative towards us … We want more than fair treatment [from the media]. There will be a team of comrades who will be watching this space all the time.

Sarupen said: “This blatant manipulation seeks to sway public opinion and undermine the democratic process.”

Agregious abuses of power

He continued by saying that in the face of such egregious abuses of power, the Sanef cannot remain silent and that doing nothing would undermine press credibility and jeopardise the foundation of democracy.

“We urge Sanef to uphold its constitutional objectives, particularly Section 4.1.1, which emphasises the promotion of a free, independent, and pluralistic press.

“It is imperative that Sanef take a firm stance against any attempts to coerce or control journalists in their reporting duties.”

He added that the DA would not stand by while media freedom is under threat.

“We will utilise parliamentary channels to fight against this manipulation and ensure that the voices of journalists are protected from such abuse.”

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