The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has issued a statement condemning Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s refusal to answer questions from Business Maverick’s journalist, Ray Mahlaka, “including his pulling of the ‘you should respect your elders’ card.”
Tito Mboweni arrogantly refuses to answer "his" proposed economic transformation plans for South Africapic.twitter.com/eThqtlLEXm
— Katleho (@KatlehoMK) September 3, 2019
Mboweni was addressing a press conference on his strategic economic plan “Economic transformation, Inclusive Growth, and Competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa” published on 27 August, ahead of the World Economic Forum in Africa.
“Instead of answering a question about the plan Mboweni responded with the statement, ‘this isn’t the time and place’. Further, he stated that journalists should respect their elders,” added Sanef.
They believe that that was an inappropriate response from the finance minister.
“This is a critical document and it is journalists’ role to ask questions, to critique and to analyse. It is impossible for journalists to hold politicians – or anyone in a position of power – to account if they are not given the space for robust engagement. Sanef does not believe that this is an issue of respect. Robust engagement is the lifeblood of the media and it is ultimately the lifeblood of our young democracy.”
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)