Malemaattack on scribe slammed

THE South African National Editors' Forum and National Press Club have strongly criticised ANCYL president Julius Malema's outburst during a press briefing at ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg yesterday.

THE South African National Editors' Forum and National Press Club have strongly criticised ANCYL president Julius Malema's outburst during a press briefing at ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg yesterday.

Malema kicked BBC journalist Jonathan Fisher out of the youth league media briefing after calling the reporter a "bastard".

Sanef's Thabo Leshilo said his organisation was outraged by Malema's action.

He said: "Sanef takes strong exception at the reporter being sworn at in an attempt to humiliate him. Fisher was a guest at the press conference and could expect to be treated with courtesy."

Press club chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said such behaviour against the media was unacceptable in a democratic country where media freedom was part of the Constitution.

"The media has a job to do and we will not sit back and watch our colleagues being abused ," he said.

Abramjee also called on journalists not to sit back and watch their colleagues being abused - saying that everyone should have walked out in solidarity with the BBC reporter.

Leshilo said: " In the light of this scandalous abuse of an internationally accepted method of communicating with the media, Sanef is concerned that journalists might in future be forced to decline invitations to press conferences of the youth league, with dire consequences for their historical duty of informing the public."

Malema last night said he was not "remorseful" over chasing the journalist. "We are not remorseful on our stance (sic) and will never be remorseful about disrespectful journalists; particularly [those] from countries whose media always undermine the credibility and integrity of African leaders,"

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