INJEJE yabeNguni Council has condemned the attack launched against Independent Media by rival media house News24 over an internal document that was “allegedly” leaked to them.
This was after News24 reported that Independent Media had launched a secret campaign to “topple” President Cyril Ramaphosa as leader of the ANC in December. The news channel reported that Independent Media would do this through a strategy called “Operation Hlanza” – hlanza means to clean or cleanse.
However, Injeje said this was an attack on media freedom and freedom of speech. The group said it viewed the actions of News24 as a tired attempt to bulldoze media houses into reporting in a manner that satisfied Ramaphosa, as they had been doing since he returned to politics.
“News24 editors seem to have convinced themselves that their outlet commands enough gravitas to perforce other media outlets to buy into their propagandist mode of reporting, where they misrepresent facts and directly mislead their audience to merely serve Ramaphosa,” said the group.
“They even have the audacity to try to project that any person who has an adverse perception of Ramaphosa ought to be seen in a negative light yet their little master has failed dismally as a president in the history of the office he occupies.”
Injeje said its council fully stands with Independent Media and all its journalists. “Independent Media and its journalists have excelled in their reporting duties. They have consistently exposed the decadence which has characterized the Ramaphosa administration, said the group.
“News24 has failed time and again to offer credible news and has thus descended into mudslinging as all forms of journalistic ethos have long been thrown out the door. They willingly offered themselves to be poodles in the lap of the drag queen Cyril Ramaphosa and now are barking at anyone who is indifferent to their master.”
“Their articles on Independent Media are a direct attack on freedom of speech and media freedom, they seem to have convinced themselves that they are the dictators of editorial content, however, their little charade has inevitably collapsed, as no racist media outlet will dictate to anyone as to how they should present news to us, thus News24 and its editors can go play in the traffic, their little tantrums are neither here nor there,” the group said.
News24 has not covered itself in glory in the past with the endorsement of certain political parties during elections and even going as far as utilising their service’s in the background.
“During the elections, we make use of programs and number crunchers from a certain party. The organisation also has meetings to discuss operations and plan for the coverage of elections along with where it will sway,” said an insider who commented on condition of anonymity.
The editor-in-chief of News24, Adriaan Basson has also been lambasted for his actions with many on social media questioning the real motive behind the stories. Some users have also claimed that the same media house ran an anti-NDZ campaign while glorifying Ramaphosa leading to Nasrec in 2017.
The publication was Ramaphosa’s frontline cheerleaders and sang his praises at every turn while trying to paint a picture of corruption against anyone who contested him. People’s ties with certain individuals were questioned while those supporting Ramaphosa were shielded, something that continues to happen to this day.