The African National Congress (ANC) has condemned the actions of its MP, Boy Mamabolo and says it will investigate and take appropriate action. In a recording, Mamabolo is heard hurling insults at a journalist and threatening to shoot him.
The journalist has since opened a case of intimidation against Mamabolo. The ANC says Mamabolo’s behaviour is unbecoming of a public figure.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe says they find his conduct unacceptable.
“The ANC finds this conduct unacceptable and inconsistent with the values of the organisation. This behaviour is also not in keeping with what is expected of a public representative. In a democracy such as ours, there is no place for the intimidation of journalists, they cannot be insulted and threatened for merely doing their job. The ANC holds the view that a free and robust press is the lifeblood of our constitutional democracy. For the ANC, media freedom is sacrosanct and will continue to defend the media’s right to report without fear or favour.”
SANEF condemns Mamabolo’s actions
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) also condemned Mamabolo for threatening journalist Ngwako Malatji.
Mamabolo threatened to shoot Malatji who is a reporter with the Sunday World over the weekend for investigating allegations that the MP had made unsavoury remarks about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to ban the sale of alcohol for the second time.
Malatji provided evidence from a source in the form of cellphone screen-grabs of a WhatsApp conversation in which Mamabolo threatened them with violence.
SANEF Executive Director Kate Skinner says they want the ANC to take the necessary disciplinary action against Mamabolo.
Skinner says, “We hope that SAPS will take this threat against the journalist seriously and carry out the necessary investigation. We hope that the MP responsible for the threats will be brought to justice to show that this unparliamentary behaviour has no place in our democracy. We also call on the ANC to show that it does not tolerate such behaviour within its ranks and that it will duly take steps to discipline its member.”
SANEF – threats have no place in a democratic society & underline the risks that journalists face when covering the activities of politicians at all levels. https://t.co/9W5I5dhpzQ
— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) July 29, 2020