GCIS has noted, with concern and disappointment, the statement issued by the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) regarding President Jacob Zuma’s visit to the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban last week Saturday, 25 July 2009.
According to the statement, GCIS excluded journalists from a number of media houses access to participate in the tour of the 2010 site.
GCIS would like to place it on record that it was neither part of the arrangements nor involved in the event as suggested in the statement by SANEF. We are extremely disappointed that SANEF, a body representing editors who are expected to ensure that their journalists check their stories thoroughly before publishing, did not bother to verify the facts before issuing the statement.
GCIS and SANEF have built a good relationship with the SANEF leadership over many years. This relationship is based on mutual respect and trust. We are extremely puzzled by this act. We hereby call on the Leadership of SANEF to retract this statement and to apologise publicly for misleading the public.
GCIS, and the South African government does not subscribe to any “privileged accreditation” process and remains committed to facilitating media access to government and form partnerships with all media to ensure that the public is informed.
We will continue to work with all media organizations to ensure that the media freedom is strengthened in this country.
Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)