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Mthembu: Media should apologise to black South Africans

The ANC chief whip says the media doesn’t have the moral authority to self-regulate because many in the industry were complicit in apartheid atrocities.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu at The Gathering: Media Edition at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 3 August 2017. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - African National Congress (ANC) Parliamentary Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu has taken aim at the media saying that it doesn’t have the moral authority to self-regulate because many in the industry were complicit in apartheid atrocities.

Speaking at The Gathering in Cape Town on Thursday, Mthembu suggested that the industry should apologize for the role it played during the apartheid regime.

The ruling party has long been calling for a Media Appeals Tribunal, which many in the industry fear will curb media freedom.

WATCH: The Gathering: Media Edition

Mthembu has drawn on events of the past to justify calls for increased regulation of the media.

“The South African media deserves to apologise to the black majority of South Africans.”

Democratic Alliance MP Phumzile van Damme also spoke at the event, and she differs with Mthembu, saying that the media should regulate itself.

“We believe that peer review is the best way for the media to keep itself accountable.”

Her fellow parliamentarian, Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, finds himself somewhere in between.

He believes the media could up its game.

“We believe in self-regulation but the self-regulatory mechanisms ought to have teeth.”

Earlier, the Press Council’s Joe Thloloe told the audience that the ANC’s argument in favour of a media appeals tribunal is based on unsubstantiated claims that the existing regulatory framework is not working.

GALLERY: The Gathering: Media Edition

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)