Sanef in talks over Qunu coverage

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iol news pic Qunu South Africa Mandela Mourning


A dome, being constructed near the house, left rear, of former South African president Nelson Mandela, in Qunu. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

Qunu - National editors held talks on Thursday with the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on media coverage of Nelson Mandela's funeral in Qunu, Eastern Cape.

“The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) is concerned over restrictions of media coverage in Qunu,” forum member Adriaan Basson said.

Journalists were being barred from entering the village and taking pictures. They were told to go to the media centre, about three kilometres from Mandela's homestead.

The restrictions have forced journalists renting houses nearby to find alternative accommodation.

A police officer said: “We were briefed not to allow you access or to let you take pictures. You can go to the white tent,” he said, referring to the nearby media centre.

On Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said the media had violated protocols.

“It has... come to our attention that some members of the media have violated the protocols and arrangements that are in place in Qunu, and that this is causing frustration for the authorities and the Mandela family and community of Qunu,” said Chabane.

Basson said they were in talks with GCIS and hoped to have an amicable solution soon. Brian Dube of GCIS said there would be a meeting on Friday to discuss coverage and restrictions in the area.


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