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Joe Thloloe: ANC call for media tribunal based on unsubstantiated claims

Joe Thloloe told the audience the ANC is inadvertently encouraging Andile Mngxitama’s BLF movement and others who harass journalists by its anti-democratic posturing.

Press Council executive director and veteran journalist Joe Thloloe speaks at The Gathering: Media Edition at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 3 August 2017. Picture:  Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Press Council executive director Joe Thloloe says the African National Congress (ANC)’s reasons for wanting a media appeals tribunal are based on unsubstantiated claims that self-regulation has failed.

Speaking at The Gathering, an event hosted by _Daily Maverick _and Nandos in Cape Town on Thursday morning, Thloloe told the audience the anti-media rhetoric accompanying the ruling party’s push for an appeals tribunal could be fuelling violence against journalists.

Members of the Black First Land First Movement who’ve threatened journalists, and disrupted their meetings, were turned away from the event.

WATCH: The Gathering: Media Edition

They’ve been ordered by a court to stop harassing reporters.

Thloloe told the audience that the ANC is inadvertently encouraging Andile Mngxitama’s BLF movement and others who harass journalists by its anti-democratic posturing.

“And very soon journalists will not be free to do their work in the country in spite of a Constitution that protects them.”

Thloloe says the ANC’s argument in favour of a media appeals tribunal is based on claims that the press council is not independent.

“Anybody who does a casual reading of our documents will know that we have an architecture that ensures our independence.”

He says respected jurists are in fact part of the council.

GALLERY: The Gathering: Media Edition