ANC defends call for media tribunal

The African National Congress (ANC) has defended its push for a controversial media tribunal and called on Parliament to consider the press oversight body.

“It should be Parliament that investigates its desirability and feasibility. That investigation could go either way,” senior ANC official Pallo Jordan was quoted as saying by the South African Press Association on Friday.

“The existing self-regulatory system with the press ombudsman and press council is ineffective and needs to be strengthened,” said Jordan, who is a member of the party’s national executive committee.

The party has proposed that a media appeals tribunal be established, which would hear complaints against the press and have authority to impose legal penalties on journalists.

However, South African journalists say the proposals are an attempt to stifle a press corps that has embarrassed the ANC by exposing official corruption, uncovering scandals and reporting on internal party disputes.

Speaking at the ANC national general council, Jordan said that if Parliament agreed that a media appeals tribunal was needed, the ANC recommended that it be “independent of commercial and party political interference” and should not be in the form of pre-publication censorship.

The proposal comes as Parliament considers a separate Protection of Information Bill that would give the government broad powers to classify information and impose jail terms of up to 25 years for publishing it.

Together, the measures have raised fears of an ANC campaign to stifle the freedom of speech. — AFP
Keep up with our live coverage, videos and tweets from the ANC national general council at

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


The case against Floyd Shivambu

The flow of money from VBS Bank would seem to suggest that the EFF’s second-in-command was an ultimate beneficiary of proceeds of a crime

Cabinet reshuffle rumours: Unlikely to happen any time soon, but…

Persistent rumours of a cabinet reshuffle may be jumping the gun, but they do reflect the political realignment taking place within the ANC

Gauteng responds to grave concern

The news of Gauteng’s grave site preparations raised alarm about the expected number of Covid-19-related deaths in the province

Nigeria’s anti-corruption boss arrested for corruption

Ibrahim Magu’s arrest by the secret police was a surprise — but also not surprising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday