FXI opposes DA's blacklisting of journalist
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) blacklisting of a Sowetan journalist is “outrageous”, the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) said today.
“It is outrageous that the DA is itself blacklisting journalists when it was so opposed to Snuki Zikalala doing the same at the SABC and has been so vocal about the ANC’s approach to the media,” said spokesperson Jayshree Pather.
The DA blacklisted the Sowetan’s Cape political correspondent Anna Majavu, a former spokesperson for the SA Municipal Workers Union, in August last year because she has a “political agenda”.
“FXI’s view is that it is the prerogative of editors and not political parties to appoint journalists and judge their capacity and performance. Journalists must be judged by their adherence to agreed editorial standards and not by their previous positions.”
The FXI added it’s voice to other groups such as the SA National Editors Forum and the SA Municipal Workers’ Union opposing the blacklisting of journalists.
The DA’s executive director of communications and research Ross van der Linde confirmed to the Sowetan yesterday that the party had cut communication with Majavu.
“Majavu is not a journalist. Some journalists and editors disagree with our policies and views, and they are entitled to do so. But Anna Majavu is a former South African Municipal Workers Union spin doctor, who has a particular political agenda,” Van der Linde said.
He said the DA was not obliged to send information to any individual or organisation.
Majavu said her woes with the party started when she wrote a story about how DA MP Pieter van Dalen allegedly shot at two children in Khayelitsha.
The Sowetan said Majavu based her story on a report by Advocate Pierre van Tonder, who adjudicated in the matter of an appeal by a Metro police officer who was dismissed.
“The officer, with Van Dalen, shot rubber bullets at two children playing soccer in Khayelitsha late at night,” the Sowetan said.
Van Dalen – who was a councillor at the time of the incident – accompanied metro police officers during the xenophobic attacks in 2008.