Sanef: protect source

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has come out in support of a decision by a KwaZulu-Natal publication, Weekend Witness, to withhold the identity of a motorist who supplied the newspaper with pictures of traffic violations by Premier S'bu Ndebele's official convoy.

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has come out in support of a decision by a KwaZulu-Natal publication, Weekend Witness, to withhold the identity of a motorist who supplied the newspaper with pictures of traffic violations by Premier S'bu Ndebele's official convoy.

The newspaper received a letter from the Transport Department demanding the identity of the motorist after the publication of the pictures on April 14.

The pictures, taken by cellphone camera, showed the premier's convoy straddling traffic lanes and exceeding the speed limit after allegedly forcing the motorist off the road.

"The demand smacks of an attempt to shoot the messenger," said Sanef deputy chairman Thabo Leshilo yesterday.

He said revealing the identity of sources "contravenes a journalist's code of ethics, which guarantees protection of sources when information has been supplied in confidence".

Leshilo said there seemed to be no attempt to investigate the allegation that the convoy had forced the motorist off the road.

Earlier this week Sanef also condemned a decision by parliament's portfolio committee to hold hearings on the Film and Publications Amendment Bill on May 3, World Press Freedom Day.

"The media was not consulted, despite promises that consultations would be held," Leshilo said.

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