Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini says she never barred eNCA from attending an event in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend but is probing what happened between her officials and journalists.
“The minister wishes to clearly state that she will never instruct any reporter or journalist to leave any venue especially when it is an event of government,” her spokesperson Mandla Tshabalala said.
“The portfolio the minister is responsible for relies mainly on various media platforms to communicate and convey its key messages to the public.”
The broadcaster reported on Sunday that it was barred from entering a hall where Dlamini launched the 16 Days of Activism Campaign in Mthonjaneni, northern KwaZulu-Natal.
It stated 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.
‘Process to establish the facts’
In a statement in the early hours of Monday morning, Tshabalala said that the ministry worked “without prejudice and bias”.
He said the SABC and eNCA each requested an interview but said that due to time limits on Sunday, they reached an agreement with reporters where Dlamini would conduct an interview with the SABC and eNCA would interview provincial social development MEC Weziwe Thusi.
After the interviews, Dlamini was not part of any further engagements with those journalists, Tshabalala said.
“The minister has come to learn of allegations that there was an exchange between officials from her office and eNCA reporters. A claim is being made by the eNCA that an official of the ministry asked them to leave. It must be categorically stated that Minister Dlamini did not ask any reporter to leave the event or ban any reporter from attending the event.
“The minister has instituted a process to establish the facts of what transpired.” — News 24