Sanef condemns Motsoeneng comments

The SABC boss said journalists should have a licence to practice.

Acting South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has condemned a proposal by South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng that journalists have a licence to practice, as is the case with doctors and lawyers.

Sanef says Motsoeneng's comment at the annual Joburg Radio Days conference at the University of the Witwatersrand on Thursday reveal his ignorance about journalistic practice in a democracy.

The editors' body says it's unfortunate that the remarks come from a high-ranking official of the public broadcaster and suggests the proposal is at odds with the ideal of freedom of speech enshrined in the Constitution.

Sanef's Raymond Louw says, "While it's easy to register a journalist it's even easier to take the licence away and prevent him from practicing. And what governments do in dictatorships and authoritarian countries is force journalists to register so that they can take that licence away if the journalists are critical of government."

Read Sanef's full statement on the acting SABC head's comments .