South Africa 25.1.2014 11:55 am

Journalist’s can’t be political party members – Zille

FILE PICTURE: Helen Zille. Picture: Neil McCartney

FILE PICTURE: Helen Zille. Picture: Neil McCartney

Journalists cannot be political party members, DA leader Helen Zille said on Saturday.

“I agree that you can’t be a member of a political party and a journalist,” Zille told reporters in Johannesburg.

“I believe that being a member of a political party is incompetent with some professions.”

Zille was speaking at the announcement of her party’s prospective Parliamentary and premier candidates.

She said she was sharing her personal opinion.

Zille said she believed most journalists were politically affiliated to some parties, and this was evident through their writing.

In November, it was alleged that several journalists had submitted their names for Democratic Alliance Parliamentary candidacy.

Some names had been left off the list, which was released on Saturday, and no journalist names were on it.

The words “confidential candidate” had been placed where the omitted names would have been.

Zille said they had wanted to give these candidates a decent time period to inform their employers and serve their notices.

“Others however, may remove their names from the list,” said Zille.

She said once cleared, the names of those confidential candidates would be announced.

On Friday, Independent Newspapers said senior journalist Donwald Pressly has been suspended for allegedly applying to be on a political party’s list of parliamentary candidates for the general election.

“Mr Pressly did this without informing his editor, and while continuing to write news as well as opinion and analysis on the said political party without declaring his political intentions to our readers,” group executive editor Karima Brown said in a statement.

Pressly is Business Report’s Cape Town bureau chief.

Brown said if the allegation was true, it would constitute a breach of their editorial code of conduct, code of ethics, and a breach of trust.

Pressly’s attorney, Michael Bagraim told Sapa his client had been honest about his political affiliation and had admitted to belonging to the DA.

In November, Business Day reported that Sunday Times executive editor Brendan Boyle was suspended after allegedly applying to become a Democratic Alliance MP.

It reported that Boyle sent his curriculum vitae, which was later withdrawn, to the party as part of his application.

Sapa

 

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