“Threats against paper an attack on press freedom” - DA

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 15, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has hit out at threats made against the Daily Dispatch following the leak of a document alleging that the paper had struck-up a coalition with opposition parties to discredit the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in the province.

Responding to the claims made by ANC National Spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, that the paper also planned on spying and publishing damming articles about Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle, DA National Spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme, said that the paper increasing its security to protect staff was a worry, and that a formal investigation needs to be conducted by police into the authenticity of the claims.

“Threats on the lives of journalists are not only criminal, but an assault on media freedom as enshrined in the Bill of Rights,” van Damme said in a statement.

“Intimidation and threats of violence against the media cannot be tolerated in a constitutional democracy. It is essential that we have a free press that reports without fear or intimidation. This matter now needs to be investigated by SAPS to determine the person(s) behind the threats, and the perpetrators prosecuted”.

The paper has distanced itself from the claims with Editor Bongani Siqoko saying they have no idea as to which document Kodwa was referring to, and that party not approaching them directly to enquiry about claims was “disappointing”.

 

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