COSATU condemns DA blacklisting of Anna Majavu

Patrick Craven says opposition's vindictive action reveals their utter hypocrisy

The Congress of South African Trade Unions strongly condemns the blacklisting of Sowetan journalist Anna Majavu by the Democratic Alliance (see report). The party has admitted removing her from their mailing list and, even worse, tries to justify this by referring to her former position as the spokesperson for COSATU's affiliate SAMWU.

In this capacity she served the workers' movement with great distinction, but since becoming a reporter has never allowed her previous role to prevent her from reporting with integrity and honesty.

The DA's vindictive action reveals their utter hypocrisy. They pose as defender of the freedom of the media, yet the moment a member of the media reveals the truth about the conduct of its members it petulantly tries to silence her by cutting off her source of information from the party.

COSATU agrees with Sanef chairman Mondli Makhanya that this "flies in the face of the DA's founding liberal values, including commitment to press freedom."

The DA's ‘liberal values' are exposed as a sham, as is made clear by the statement by the party's official, Ross van der Linde, who argued that "Majavu is not a journalist. Some journalists and editors disagree with our policies and views, and they are entitled to do so. But Anna Majavu is a former South African Municipal Workers Union spin doctor, who has a particular political agenda."

COSATU deplores the suggestion that a former trade unionist is incapable of reporting accurately and honestly.

The federation endorses the view of Caiphus Kgosana, chairman of the Press Gallery Association, that the DA decision was "ill-conceived and ill-advised and sets a very dangerous precedent, especially in the light of events that are deemed to threaten media freedom. For a party that purports to be opposed to the idea of a Media Appeals Tribunal and is on record as strongly opposing the Protection of Information Bill, this smacks of unacceptable double standards".

Statement issued by Patrick Craven, COSATU national spokesperson, February 10 2011

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