29 May 2024, Lerato Makola, SABC News

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) has called on the Presidency to openly condemn what it termed a blatant act of intimidation against the SABC’s Group Executive for News and Current Affairs, Moshoeshoe Monare.

Monare was allegedly phoned by an official from the State Security Agency (SSA) demanding that he be vetted again and undergo a top security secret test which will include taking a polygraph test.

Media and freedom of expression organisations including the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF), Campaign for Freedom of Expression (CFE) and Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOS) have expressed grave concern over the revelations. They say this undermines the fundamental principles of media and editorial independence of the press.

MMA Director William Bird says anyone who tries to undermine media freedom must be held accountable.

“It cannot be right that just ahead of elections instead of focussing on the electoral coverage, the head of news is having to subject himself to dealing with attacks by other the State Security Agency on his integrity.”

Bird adds: “There’s no legitimate reason why it should occur. It doesn’t occur to any editor anywhere in the country, nor should it occur to any editor anywhere else in the country. So why should the head of the SABC be any different?”

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