‘ANC may drop media tribunal idea’

Pallo Jordan thinks Mangaung delegates might drop the idea of a media appeals tribunal.

Pallo Jordan. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The chair of the ANC's communications committee Pallo Jordan said while he thinks delegates at Mangaung might completely drop the idea of a media appeals tribunal, he is expecting complicated discussions around the Protection of State Information Bill.

Earlier this year, the ANC said it welcomed plans by the newspaper industry to set up a different regulation system.

Jordan at the weekend said there were clearly strong arguments on both sides of the "secrecy bill" debate.

"Those are the complexities that relate to that issue and we shouldn't undermine them because they are quite real."

But he said attitudes towards newspapers within the ANC had changed.

"Because the South African National Editors Forum had addressed the issue, there wasn't any more pressure for a media tribunal, and I think the idea might well be dropped."

Jordan also said he was worried about the state of the ANC.

Jordan is a member of both the ANC's national executive committee and its national working committee, and he was upfront and direct when asked what he thought the party's biggest challenge was ahead of Mangaung.

He said he doesn't remember a time when there's been as much chaos around nominations in the party as there has been ahead of this week's elective conference.

Last week, people were arrested after trying to force their way into the Limpopo ANC nominations conference, while disputes rocked the Western Cape and North West provincial gatherings.

Jordan said this was the result of "terrible tensions" that have risen within the ANC.