EFF leader Julius Malema and deputy Floyd Shivambu speaking as EFF has its second national people’s assembly in Nasrec. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has lashed out at the EFF for discriminating against journalists following the party’s decision to ban Daily Maverick, Scorpio, amaBhungane and Rapport from attending its conference. 

Soon after eNCA had pulled out of the conference in Nasrec Expo Centre, Johannesburg, unapologetic red berets' president Julius Malema said that "they (eNCA) can go to hell" and "Anyone who wants to go with them can go". 

Sanef’s Judy Sandison condemned the EFF for “discriminating” against certain media houses. 

“There should be no discrimination of the media for any misconcept that the party has,” she said, adding that political parties should allow diverse media coverage as that would enhance democracy. 

She said the forum had not yet fully discussed the decision of the eNCA to pull out of Nasrec.

“We are still in discussion around it,” she said.

However, she said media houses had a right to make their point “because the keypoint is that we don’t want people excluded from these conference”.

“We hope that the EFF would consider to allow everybody to attend,” said Sandison. 

She said Sanef was group of editors who are forming a united front on matters of principle. 

When asked if it was not the EFF’s prerogative to decide on who should attend its events, Sandison insisted that it was unconstitutional to ban journalists. 

“It deprive ordinary citizens of access to full and fair information, which is why we need the diversity of the media and media voices.

“People must have a wide range of reporting to choose from so that they would stay fully informed,” she said.  

Sanef had also issued a statement warning against EFF’s claim that it had a right  to freedom of association and to decide who it wanted to associate with in events and platforms. The unapologetic party also said it had a right to exclude “specific media organisations”.

“We believe that this move infringes on the right of freedom of expression enshrined in Section 16 of our Constitution. 

“Section 16 states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes ‘freedom of the press and other media’ and ‘freedom to receive or impart information or ideas,” read Sanef statement, which was signed by a group of five editors.  

Political Bureau