Don’t look now, but Tito’s drenched in sweat

Press photographers were again barred from attending a press conference where South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Tito Mboweni announced the latest repo-rate decision on Thursday.

It is the second time that photographers have been barred from taking pictures of Mboweni at the SARB press conference.

The invitation to the press conference stipulated that photographers would not be allowed into the room.

Mboweni said a photographer had been behaving ”very badly” at a press conference in October last year.

”He was taking pictures when I was wiping off my sweat,” said Mboweni.

While the Sake 24 photographer did snap pictures of Mboweni perspiring under the television lights, it was never printed.

Sake 24‘s editor Charles Naudé said it was disappointing that Mboweni was so ”over-sensitive”, as the photographer was merely doing his job.

”Hopefully, he will soon see his way open to again allow the public interest and exposure that his positions requires of him,” Naudé said.

Business Day‘s chief photographer Robert Botha said he taken up the issue with Mboweni, who complained that photographers were always trying to make him look funny.

”Photographers are not looking for just a bland picture, there must be some type of action or motivation in it,” Botha said.

He said Mboweni was very aware of how photographs could shape his public image.

Botha said while the governor had invited the paper to take pictures of him in his office at any time, he had ruled out photographs at the repo-rate announcements.

Steve Lawrence, the Star‘s chief photographer, speaking in his personal capacity, said Mboweni was being unreasonable to bar photographers from what was a public announcement on a decision that would have implications on every South African.

”He is a public person speaking at a very public venue. It is unfair for him to then ban photographers,” he said. – Sapa

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