Mboweni denies entry to lensmen

Press photographers were barred from attending a press conference where South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni announced the latest repo rate decision yesterday.

Press photographers were barred from attending a press conference where South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni announced the latest repo rate decision yesterday.

It is the second time that the bank has prevented photographers from taking pictures of Mboweni at a press conference.

In an invitation to journalists, it was specifically stated that photographers would not be allowed.

"Please note no photographers will be allowed at the press conference," the invite said.

Asked previously why photographers were banned from the press conferences, Mboweni said he did not want them there.

He said a photographer was behaving "very badly" at a news conference in October last year.

"He was taking pictures when I was wiping off my sweat," said Mboweni.

While Sake 24 photographer did take pictures of Mboweni sweating under the hot television lights, it was never used.

Sake 24's editor Charles Naude said it was disappointing that Mboweni was so "over-sensitive" when the photographer was merely doing his job taking a picture of a public figure.

"Hopefully he will soon allow the public interest and exposure that his position requires of him," Naude said.

Business Day's chief photographer Robert Botha said he took up the issue with Mboweni who complained that photographers were always trying to make him look funny.

"Photographers are not looking for just a bland picture, there must be some type of action or motivation in it," Botha said.

He said Mboweni was very aware of how still pictures could shape his image.

He said while Mboweni invited the publication to take pictures of him in his office any time, he ruled out photographs at the press conferences.

Steve Lawrence, The Star's chief photographer, speaking in his personal capacity, said Mboweni was unreasonable to bar photographers from what was a public decision that would affect every South African. - Sapa

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