The Guard

The Truth On Board

Ramaphosa backs media freedom

By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA – President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated his support for the media amid reports on a leaked audio recording in which he is heard telling members of his party that he would ‘deal’ with media houses that report negatively about the ANC ahead of May 29,2024 general elections.

Ramaphosa reassured members of the media after addressing an ANC rally this week that, contrary to the general impression created by the audio, he ‘loves’ the media.
“I want you to do your work as best as you can. You have my full support in whatever you are doing.”
Following this alleged audio recording, reports surfaced about State Security Agency (SSA) vetting of SABC group executive for news and current affairs Moshoeshoe Monare which is reviewed as targeting him.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa alongside national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu Motsiri and FS chairperson Mxolisi Dukwana.

However, presidential spokesperson Vincent Ngwenya refuted claims that Monare was being targeted, insisting that is standard procedure.
He said this in an interview on a national television on Monday.

“The vetting of Mr Monare was never completed. The process that started in 2022 when he joined the SABC has not been completed due to his aversion of a polygraph test which is only one element of the broader vetting process.
“The Presidency has also been informed that the new SABC group Chief Executive Officer is currently undergoing the same vetting process; the current board of directors of the SABC went through a similar vetting process.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu Motsiri.

“President Ramaphosa … will never sanction acts of intimidation or harassment of journalists because such behaviour in a democratic country will stand contrary to sacrosanct adherence to the bill of rights that are enshrined in our Constitution.”

For his part, Monare said “we work in an environment which needs maximum media freedom. But that does not necessarily mean I cannot follow the recruitment process including the vetting of executive which I have done. But if you say I am now editor-in-chief and I must be subjected to polygraph vetting, what I am asking is, give reasons that make a person that is subject to understand the purpose. That is all I am asking.”