Editors oppose restrictive new press bill

THE South African National Editors' Forum has rejected as unconstitutional the proposed media tribunal that it said would restrict the free flow of information.

"Sanef points out that the proposed tribunal would go against the existing system of self-regulation that involves the media and members of the public, and would be unconstitutional," the body said yesterday.

The ANC has proposed an independent tribunal as a response to what it called inadequate self-regulation by the media.

Sanef also had concerns about legislation "hostile" to the free flow of information.

But, speaking at Sanef's two-day annual general meeting on Saturday, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe said: "We will not enact any laws detrimental to your cause . I will ensure that any law that comes into being must be in conformity with our Constitution."

Avusa media newspapers' editor-in-chief, Mondli Makhanya, was elected chairperson of the forum and Sowetan KwaZulu-Natal bureau chief Mary Papayya its deputy chairperson.

At the same meeting Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said the body was optimistic that Bafana Bafana would improve its world ranking in two years.

"This is a tall order, but it is a goal worth pursuing," Nematandani said.

He said a "back to basics" approach to training of players at an early age was crucial to success in soccer.

"You'd be surprised to see at senior level how many players can't execute the basics such as trapping the ball and taking a throw-in."

He said the administrator had much to learn from rugby-playing schools.

"Football games at mainly black schools drew big crowds. Some of that passion is gone. We need to regain it.

"We should also take a leaf from the book of rugby -playing white schools. They are doing something right because they draw big crowds, sometimes bigger than at PSL games."