FF+: Statement by Pieter Groenewald, Frredom Front Plus spokesperson, on Parliament suspending a journalist (04/10/2011)

4th October 2011

“The Secretary to Parliament, Zingile Dingani’s attempt to suspend the accreditation of a journalist, Deon de Lange, because the latter had spoken to a Parliamentary official, is threatening media freedom as well as one of the corner stones of a representative democracy. To furthermore draft a protocol for the media which would prevent journalists to turn up at the offices of Members of Parliament (MP’s) without an invitation, will indirectly gag the media,” Mr. Pieter Groenewald, the Parliamentary Leader of the Freedom Front Plus says.

“It is essential that the media informs voters about the work and views of Parliament. With the drafting of the protocol for the media in Parliament, MP’s and political parties have to be known in the matter. Parliament cannot one-sidedly make decisions for MP’s. The secretary (Dingani) should rather manage his personnel than try to control the media. The media should be allowed to communicate freely with whomever it wishes. It always remains the other party’s prerogative to react or refrain from reacting,” Groenewald said.