Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini has allegedly barred eNCA from entering a hall where she is launching the 16 Days of Activism Campaign in Mthonjaneni, northern KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.
The broadcaster reported that Dlamini’s communications team said she had instructed them that she would only speak to the SABC “because they know the parameters”.
“The minister arrived on Sunday afternoon and instructed our team not to take any footage of her, saying she was offended that our camera person was pointing a camera at her,” eNCA reported.
eNCA has expressed its “deep concern” at being barred from an event of “national importance by a government minister”.
Reporter Thuba Vilane and camera operator Bongumusa Mkhize were filming Dlamini’s arrival at the event in KwaMagwaza, Melmoth when the incident occurred.
Dlamini approached their team and said she was offended that she was filmed.
“Thereafter her chief of staff Palesa Mphamo made it expressly clear eNCA should not enter the hall where the event was being held,” eNCA said.
“We reserve the right to ask questions of any publicly appointed representative, indeed we see it as our duty to do so. As a member of the media it is our constitutional right to operate freely and without harassment. To be gagged in this way is of great concern, particularly as we head towards an election year,” eNCA said in a statement.
The news channel said it would engage with Dlamini’s department as well as government’s mouthpiece Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) “to get answers and assurance that this will not be allowed to happen again”.
Dlamini’s spokesperson Mandla Tshabalala was not immediately available for comment as his phone rang unanswered.
He did not reply to a WhatsApp text message either.
Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Sunday also banned the Sunday Times and its reporters from covering his events, saying he did not need them.
Editorial | We must find the courage to stand up to the racist bully Julius Malema https://t.co/bdOW5Ac0sU
— Sunday Times (@SundayTimesZA) November 25, 2018
“I don’t need [you] and [I’m] not scared of you and your racist owners. I respectfully and peacefully ask that you stop sending any of your journalists to interview me or to cover any of my events,” Malema tweeted.
He was responding to the paper’s editorial, titled: ‘We must find the courage to stand up to the racist bully Julius Malema‘.
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Saturday vowed to take steps following attacks on journalists by Malema and other party members.
Sanef said it had agreed to urgently seek a meeting with the leadership of the EFF.
This came after Malema’s comments outside the venue of the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg, earlier this week, where he identified specific journalists who he accused of protecting Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Gordhan was testifying about his knowledge of state capture, at the commission.
Malema accused the media of ignoring allegations made by the EFF that Gordhan’s daughter, Anisha Gordhan, was in business with the state.
Sanef said a series of steps will be “urgently undertaken to stop unacceptable, inflammatory remarks by Malema and other EFF leaders”. — News24