File picture: Pixabay
File picture: Pixabay

Sam Mkokeli dumps SANEF, vows to tell his story on Christmas day

By SIHLE MAVUSO Time of article published Oct 1, 2019

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Johannesburg - Shortly after taking on American media giant, Bloomberg, seasoned journalist Sam Mkokeli has dumped the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef), saying the “matter is a painful saga”.

Late on Sunday, Mkokeli announced on Twitter that he left the organisation where he was the media freedom chairperson and said he will not renew his membership when it lapses. 

It was not clear when his membership will lapse. 

Mkokeli said in a tweet he was fired for raising questions about the news operation's "lily-white culture and its incestuous tendencies". 

“I resigned from all Sanef positions yesterday. And won't be renewing my membership when the time comes. I don't want Bloomberg-style "o.x.y.m.o.r.o.n.s" around me.,” he wrote. 

Asked about the statement, Mkokeli said he was too busy to deal with both the Sanef matter and pursuing justice.

“I can confirm my resignation. I am too busy pursuing justice, and not for myself, to answer questions about my decision regarding Sanef. I will write an essay on Christmas Day, which is likely to be my only rest day this year,” Mkokeli said briefly. 

Apparently the justice fight he was referring to is fighting the American media giant which was founded and is named after Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City.

When asked by Independent Media on the Sanef matter, he opened up a bit and said: “The Sanef matter is a painful saga and I feel a sincere attempt to unpack it and get to its brutally-bare details would be a  premature move. It would serve only to distract rather than to help.”

Sanef's executive director, Kate Skinner, said they respect Mkokeli's decision to leave the forum but still they would like to meet with him. 

"He resigned and we respect his decision. However we will continue to engage with him and have asked him for a meeting," Skinner said. 

Asked what is Sanef's take on the public perception that it is quick to act on certain media issues and keeps mum on other media issues affecting certain journalists, she said the forum continues to be the torchbearer for media freedom and they have the best interest of the profession at heart. 

"Whenever journalists are threatened and where there are attempts to curtail media freedom we raise our voice without fear or favour."  

Political Bureau

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