EDUCATION Activist Hendrick Makaneta applauded Karima Brown on her victory against EFF. After all the Economic Freedom Fighters have a long history of undermining journalists in South Africa. In March 2018 Makaneta lambasted EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu for attacking a journalist outside parliament in Cape Town.
“I have known Floyd Shivambu since our days in the student movement, especially during his tenure as president of the SRC at Wits University. I never thought that he could stoop so low. Today he has shocked me.” Makaneta said at the time.
We have learned that media freedom around the world has fallen to the lowest level for at least a decade, according to a study that shows journalists are threatened by government censorship, organized crime and commercial pressures caused by people such as Shivambu.
Shivambu’s action sends a strong message that if EFF can become government, there will be censorship against journalists. We therefore call on the EFF to distance itself from the unfortunate incident and take concrete and visible steps to discipline Shivambu without any delay.
“Journalists should be free to state a different opinion without fear of violence or physical injury.” Makaneta said.
Shivambu’s conduct reminds us of the sad story of the beating of a Kosovo journalist known for his reports on corruption. “Only last year we condemned the Israeli government's move to shutter Al Jazeera's Jerusalem office and revoke its journalists' press credentials. We cannot allow media freedom to be compromised in South Africa especially at a time when we are supposed to commemorate human rights day. Journalists rights are human rights.” Makaneta added
We hope that the CIC Julius Malema will do everything in his power to rid his organization of those who abuse the rights of journalists.
Today’s ruling against the EFF calls for celebrations not only in the terrain of journalism but also amongst all South Africans who uphold the rule of law. We hope that the ruling will send a lesson to everyone that journalist are human too and that their rights must be respected.
Issued by Education Activist Hendrick Makaneta