Cape Times: WCape govt's actions an attack on media freedom - ANC

Party says DA using financial muscle derived from taxpayers' monies to punish those who dare publish independent views


16 MARCH 2015

The African National Congress is shocked by the shameless actions of the DA to censor the Cape Times by not renewing the Provincial Government's subscription to the newspaper. In an internal memorandum leaked to the public, the Director-General of the Province has written to all Heads of Departments in the Province stating that the Western Cape Provincial Cabinet has directed Departments to not renew or initiate further subscriptions to the newspaper as a result of what the Provincial Cabinet regards as the "ongoing decline in the quality of reporting in the Cape Times"

This deplorable behavior is a direct assault on the freedom of speech and media freedom that the DA continues to pretend that it promotes and defends. For some time now, the DA has brazenly attacked the Independent Newspaper Group to which Cape Times belongs, accusing it of being pro-ANC - all in an effort to ensure that only voices sympathetic to the DA and its cause are heard in society.

The DA-led government is using its financial muscle derived from taxpayers' monies to punish those who dare publish independent views it perceives as being at odds with the DA's misguided, sensationalist and anti-ANC narrative. These actions are further a demonstration of the duplicity and hypocrisy that is the DA, which one day baselessly attacks the ANC on management of its media spend and on the other hand engages in such deplorable behavior intended to silence the important multiplicity of voices in our country.

The African National Congress calls upon the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) to condemn such censorship by stealth of the Cape Times. The zeal often demonstrated by the so-called protectors of the Constitution and its inherent freedom of speech and free press cannot be silent in the face of such an attack on media freedom as a result the DA's intolerance.

Statement issued by Zizi Kodwa, ANC national spokesperson, March 16 2015

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