EFF media ban exposes totalitarian bent: Daily Maverick

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Media publication, Daily Maverick, says the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leadership’s ‘ban’ on media brands achieves nothing but exposes their totalitarian bent.

The EFF has denied access to journalists from a number of media houses including the Daily Maverick, Scorpio, AmaBhungane, Rapport and Caxton publications.

The Daily Maverick’s Editor-in-Chief, Branko Brkic, says the EFF’s leadership made this decision because of its reporting on the party, specifically on the VBS scandal.

“We, at Daily Maverick, believe that the EFF’s ‘ban’ is unconstitutional and intend to test it in court in the new year,” says Brkic.

The Daily Maverick says the EFF’s ‘ban’ is unconstitutional and intends to test it in court in the new year.

eNCA stops EFF coverage 

In reaction to EFF barring several news organisations from covering the event, eNCA has taken what it believes is a principled decision to stop covering this weekend’s EFF elective conference.

eNCA has pulled its editorial and technical team from the event in Johannesburg. eNCA Editor Jeremy Maggs says “the EFF decision is an attack on the media freedom in the country and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”

He says while it’s regrettable “the channel will not bring its audience news of the event”.

Sanef condemns the alleged banning 

The South African National Editor’s Forum (Sanef) condemns the act. It says this is “unconstitutional” and is tantamount to “intimidation”.

Sanef Executive Director Kate Skinner on the issue:

Meanwhile, the Congress of the People (COPE) has condemned the EFF for allegedly banning certain media houses.

“Media freedom is protected by the Constitution. The banning of some media houses by EFF, from their National People’s Assembly, must be condemned by all of us. We must not allow that to happen. We cannot allow the EFF to be selective and to dictate to the media what to report and what not to report,” says Dennis Bloem, COPE Spokesperson.

‘Media freedom is guaranteed’

However, giving the political report at the party’s second National People’s Assembly, EFF leader Julius Malema says media freedom is guaranteed to credible and ethical journalists.

“But those whose proclaimed agenda is to destroy the EFF must be isolated. Our constitutional right of association is also a right not to associate with representative of enemy forces. Fellow fighters, no other institution in the South African democratic society has been more manipulative, embedded abuse and abusive as the media or to be more precise South African media. As the second NPA, we must indeed reaffirm our commitment to defend the independence of media.”