The African National Congress condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of a group purported to be members of BLF who are reported to have gone to Times Media Editor, Peter Bruce’s home, with the purpose to intimidate him and his family.
It is further reported that the action of the alleged BLF members was a statement against Mr. Bruce’s views and ideological postions. This manner of handling differences is an antithesis to the tolerant society appreciative of divergent views we seek to build.
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa guarantees every person in the country the right to freedom of expression, which includes the freedom of the press and other media as well as the freedom to receive and impart information or ideas.
In the same vein, it is the view of the ANC that where the media sees any wrong doing done by government, by the ANC or any other political party let them speak out. In instances of hypocrisy, inconsistency or utter dishonesty on the part of the ANC or government or any other political party let them shout louder.
All rights in the Constitution carry concomitant responsibilities. Consequently, the South African Press Code enjoins media practitioners to uphold the highest ethical standards, “maintain credibility and keep the trust of the public.” Where the media fails to live up to these injunctions, independent scrutiny and co-regulation mechanisms have been created as a response. While these may be inadequate in certain instances, they remain the current platform created to ensure media accountability necessary to shape a democratic society, not intimidation and violence.
The ANC calls on the law enforcement agencies to investigate this matter and not hesitate to act where there are justiciable grounds to do so.
Issued by the African National Congress
Zizi Kodwa 0823304910
Khusela Sangoni 0728545707
National Communications Manager