Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

EFF calls out Haffajee on City Press conflict

In a press release on Thursday, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) condemned City Press editor Ferial Haffajee for suspending eight black journalists and for vocalising her opinions about the matter on Twitter.

Journalists there, however, say they have not been suspended.

According to the Media Online on Thursday, Hafajee called in her staff for a strategy meeting on transformation within the newspaper on Wednesday and to "future-proof us [the City Press], to have a discussion about a genuine future, to find ways of altering your work patterns, to do wonderful journalism".

Haffajee alleges that the meeting degenerated and that certain staff members became racist. In a letter addressed to her employees she wrote:

"Mostly, I object to the naked racism on display yesterday.  I object to the racist mauling that Tash [news editor Natasha Joseph] and Nicki [deputy editor Nicky Gules] came in for. They are a transformative desk – the very best of the desks I have ever appointed in my editing years."

She later tweeted:

Asked whether she had charged the six to eight reporters mentioned in various tweets, Haffajee said: “Not true yet, shaking their racist comfort zones."

The EFF condemned the fact that Haffajee tweeted about the meeting:

"In essence, she took internal matters of City Press to the public domain, thus indirectly silencing the accused," said the statement.

They called on City Press to "take harsh action on her, particularly because it is matters of racial discrimination which we all know find much greater expression in those spaces that have to do with the discipline of language like papers and academia."

Earlier on Thursday Haffajee tweeted: "Listen up: nobody's been suspended. Any journo can come over, talk to any of us – we have our debates in public, we don't kill each other.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

The Democratic Alliance and illiberal liberalism’s glass ceiling

The DA appears to have abandoned its ambitions of 2016 and is set to lose further ground in the upcoming elections

Canna-business deal for Ingonyama Trust land

Foreign investment has been lined up for a joint venture with the Ingonyama Trust Board, which administers tribal land for the Zulu monarch

More top stories

The Democratic Alliance and illiberal liberalism’s glass ceiling

The DA appears to have abandoned its ambitions of 2016 and is set to lose further ground in the upcoming elections

ANC Durban election candidate shot dead while on door-to-door campaign

One other man was shot dead and two others were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds

Rule of law drops globally, including in South Africa

Security and corruption prevents the country from ranking higher on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index for 2021

Slice of life: ‘I can read nine or 10 books...

David van der Westhuizen, a street bookseller based at the KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts Gallery in Durban, tells Paddy Harper how he survives unemployment

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…