Ramaphosa Condemns “Attacks” on Journalists
Written by Mfundo on 3 May, 2021
By: Zilungile Mkhize
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for an end to what he calls scathing attacks, harassment and intimidation of journalists on social media.
He has used his weekly newsletter to highlight a growing scourge of attacks on journalists over their articles or comments.
He says journalists or any member of the public has the freedom to freely articulate their views, their opinions and indeed their dissatisfaction without fear of retribution.
Today marks World Press Freedom Day and last week, the organisation Reporters without Borders published the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, a barometer of the state of media freedom across the globe.
The report said that journalism is ‘totally blocked or seriously impeded’ in 73 countries and ‘constrained’ in 59 others.
Ramaphosa says as the country concludes Freedom Month, everyone should recall how far South Africa has come from the days where social protest by artists attracted banning orders, and critical reporting by journalists risked imprisonment or the closure of publications.
“The South African media has played a pivotal role in uncovering much of what we know today about the true extent of capture of the state by self-serving, corrupt individuals and entities. They sustained their reporting even in the face of intimidation, disinformation and attacks on their person,” explains Ramaphosa.