SACP strongly condemns intimidation of journalists

Party says this is part of demagogic mobilisation unleashed against Pravin Gordhan and others

SACP strongly condemns intimidation of journalists and threats against them

Statement, 15 December 2018

The South African Communist Party unequivocally condemns intimidation, trolling or online harassment of journalists, including on but not limited to their social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and any form of incitement and threat of physical or non-physical harm against them. This unacceptable and anti-intellectual conduct resurfaced recently outside the commission of inquiry investigating the corruption of state capture, and has since been relentlessly pursued in various forms.

It is part and parcel of the demagogic mobilisation unleashed among others against Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Public Enterprises who was testifying against the corruption of state capture at the commission. The corruption left key public entities bankrupt or insolvent, and drove our state to the brink of financial collapse. Gordhan is leading the national executive effort to uproot the corruption in state owned enterprises.

Media practitioners who have been intimidated or threatened for covering developments around the imperative of uprooting the corruption of state capture, and for exercising their constitutional freedom of expression, include Karima Brown, journalist, talk show host at Radio702 and analyst at eNCA; Pauli van Wyk, journalist with Daily Maverick’s investigative team; Ranjeni Munusamy, associate editor – analysis, at Tiso Blackstar Group; Adriaan Baasson, editor-in-chief at News24. 

The SACP, the Party of Ruth First, journalist, academic and political activist reaffirms its unwavering support for a free press. First was murdered by a letter bomb in what could only have been the work of the anti-free press apartheid regime through its security agencies.

The list of the media practitioners who have recently been isolated, intimidated and/or threatened exposes the nasty fight back, which is pursued under the guise of the so-called “superior logic”, as also racist, chauvinist and sexist. 

The SACP urges South Africans to unite against the regressive tendency, close ranks and defend, advance and deepen transformation to achieve our national vision of a non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society. The Party stands for non-exploitative individual and collective prosperity, and will intensify the programme until our national vision is fully achieved and irreversibly secured.

Statement issued by the SACP, 15 December 2018