President Cyril Ramaphosa,
I hope this message reaches you with an earnest plea for the preservation of media freedom in South Africa. Your acknowledgement of the media's pivotal role in democracy is commendable, yet I cannot ignore the concerning situation unfolding before us.
Independent Media faces imminent closure due to the decision taken by Standard Bank to close our banking facilities. This should not come as a surprise to you because this matter has been raised in Parliament and at various forums.
You also know that if this happens, the shenanigans and wrongdoings within the government, even implicating some senior officials including yourself, will not be exposed.
As citizens, it is disconcerting to reconcile this reality with the image of a nation portrayed under your leadership. While you champion progress and unity, we feel a growing disillusionment as the country faces challenges seemingly unchecked.
We implore you, Mr. President, to rise above personal sentiments and prioritise the welfare of our democracy. Embrace the strength of a free press, as it plays an indispensable role in holding leaders accountable and ensuring transparency.
South Africa's future is intertwined with media freedom. Let us work together to protect this vital pillar of democracy and pave the way for a nation where truth, fairness, and justice prevail.
Members of Independent Media’s Editorial Newsroom in Gauteng
* Names withheld for fear of reprisals from the banks.
** The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of IOL or Independent Media.
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