COMMUNICATIONS Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has come under fire for stopping the media from covering a service delivery protest at an ANC election manifesto launch in Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape. Photo: Siyabulela Duda/African News Agency

JOHANNESBURG - The SA Editors Forum (Sanef) says it has met with Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who was last week condemned for blocking journalists from covering the actions of protesters at an ANC elections manifesto launch in the Eastern Cape.  

''The Sanef delegation stressed to the minister the severity of her actions as undermining media freedom and the broader implications it has on the industry. Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams expressed her remorse, unreservedly apologised, and took full responsibility,'' Sanef said in a statement.

''She expressed her commitment to championing the sanctity of media independence, protected by the country’s Constitution. Sanef welcomes the sentiment expressed by the minister and her promise for greater activism for media freedom and democracy.''

SABC video footage showed Ndabeni-Abrahams preventing journalists from covering the protest and ordering them to cover what they came for and not give coverage to "people that are out of order". Irate ANC supporters had stormed the rally complaining about poor service delivery.  

The minister issued an apology for her actions after the rally.

The two parties further discussed recent incidents of cyber bullying, and the use of social media against journalists in an attempt to discredit, threaten and silence them, said Sanef.

''Sanef and the minister have agreed to work together to protect journalists against attempts to intimidate them in an increasingly hostile environment. She also called for government and Sanef to work closely together to curb the spread of fake news.''

African News Agency (ANA)