The government has put together a strict set of media guidelines for Madiba’s state funeral and other events, warning the more than 2 000 journalists expected to act professionally and not get drunk.
If they transgressed, they would be ejected and have their broadcasting frequency revoked.
The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) has had its hands full over the past few days, trying to attend to glitches in the system on matters such as accreditation.
The GCIS is also negotiating which international and local broadcasters will be allowed to broadcast the funeral and official memorial service.
GCIS chief executive, Phumla Williams, said on Sunday the Independent Communications Authority of SA’s (Icasa) “biggest headache” so far had been the constant interception of frequency by some broadcasters without permission.
On the code of conduct, Williams agreed “it’s very strict”. The guidelines state that: “Any member of the media believed to be intoxicated, under the influence of mood-altering substances or acting in an unprofessional manner will have their media accreditation revoked and be escorted out of the media area with possible denial of future accreditation to individual perpetrators and/or their affiliated media organisation.”
added: “We will be having inspectors mingling because I guess they have their own gadgets for picking up some of the transgressors and they were saying that we will not hesitate, we will cancel your frequency… should you transgress.”
The GCIS is also responsible for appointing the “host broadcaster” for events.
Williams said the GCIS was still considering which foreign and local media houses would be afforded the right to broadcast alongside the SABC.
She said they had to “concede” that the country now had eNCA news network which would have to be accommodated after making “minor adjustments”.