ANC reiterates need for apolitical media tribunal

The South African media should be regulated by an independent body to prevent political or commercial interference, the ANC said on Tuesday.

“Our 52nd conference resolutions ... [state] that any mechanism should be independent of commercial and party political interests and should act without fear, favour and prejudice,” ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

He was responding to media reports questioning the plans. He said the reports were “misleading” as they misinterpreted the resolutions.

A proposed media appeal tribunal should be granted powers to impose “appropriate sanctions” against transgressors and be in keeping with the Constitution.

Context of desire
Pre-publication censorship should not be allowed.

“Our resolution should be understood in the context of our desire to deepen the rights of the individual in our society and to ensure that we do not elevate one right over the other rights,” Mthembu said.

As such, freedom of expression had equal value to human dignity and equality.

“We have always stated our belief in the independent regulation of the media, which is a fundamental principle that should guide all regulatory frameworks,” Mthembu said.—Sapa

The passing of the Protection of State Information Bill came as no surprise, raising the threat to media freedom. View our special report.

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