Media release

Joint statement by Government and SANEF

05 September 2007

5 September 2007

Government and the South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF) met today in Tuynhuys, Cape Town, to discuss two key issues.

The Government delegation was led by Minister in the Presidency, Dr. Essop Pahad, who was accompanied by the Ministers of Public Enterprises, Safety and Security, Justice and Constitutional Development, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, the Director General in the Presidency, CEO of GCIS, Head of Policy in the Presidency and other officials.

The SANEF delegation was led by the Chairperson of SANEF, Mr. Jovial Rantao.

SANEF’s raised its reservations about certain clauses in the Film and Publication Bill which include pre-classification provisions, constitutionality of the Bill and criminal sanctions that the Bill proposes. The meeting agreed that SANEF and Government legal teams will meet as a matter of urgency to consider all SANEF’s reservations on the draft Bill. The meeting noted that SANEF has made a submission to the National Council of Provinces and noted further that the NCOP will be conducting public hearings on the Bill in the near future.

The Government delegation raised its concerns about the media’s handling of the issue of the right to privacy in general and the specific matter of respect for the principle of patient and doctor confidentiality. Government re-affirmed its commitment to the constitutionally guaranteed right to free press but was of the view that there needs to be a dialogue in the country on the ethics that must guide the media in exercising this right. The parties agreed to convene a special seminar to discuss the role of the media in our democracy with a view to reaching common ground on the balance that must be found between the right to privacy, the public interest, media ethics and freedom of expression.

Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 645 0810

Jovial Rantao (SANEF Chairperson)
Cell: 082 446 6008

Henry Jeffreys: SANEF Deputy Chairperson)
Cell: 082 556 8883

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)


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