Names of journalists accused of taking bribes must be revealed: Sanef

Chief justice Raymond Zondo heard testimony that journalists were 'paid by Crime Intelligence to plant stories in the media', but only one journalist was named.
Chief justice Raymond Zondo heard testimony that journalists were 'paid by Crime Intelligence to plant stories in the media', but only one journalist was named.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) called for the names of journalists accused by police whistleblower Dhanajaya Naidoo of accepting "brown envelopes" to be revealed.

Speaking at the commission of inquiry into state capture, Naidoo charged that several journalists were "paid by Crime Intelligence to plant stories in the media".

However, only one journalist was named, Sunday Times associate editor Ranjeni Munusamy. She has denied the claims against her.

"Sanef notes the problems that have been created by Colonel Naidoo’s mention of the fact that 'journalists have been paid' without mentioning names. We believe it is essential that the names are revealed and that the journalists implicated are given the space to respond," the journalism body said.

"Sanef champions ethical journalism. If anyone has any evidence of unethical journalism – including the very serious breach of accepting funds for journalism – we encourage them to go to the Press Council," it said in a statement. 

Sanef has also launched an independent inquiry into the state of ethical journalism following the accusations, to be chaired by retired Judge Kathleen Satchwell.

"We encourage any South African with evidence of journalists acting unethically or illegally to approach Judge Satchwell and the authorities, including the Zondo commission," it said.


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