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Minister Muthambi says planned picket is aimed at silencing her on driving media transformation

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says the planned picket outside her department’s head office in Pretoria today by the Right to Know Campaign is aimed at silencing her from driving media transformation in the country. By Staff agency

“It is interesting to note that Right2Know is staging the picket on the eve of our Print Media Transformation Colloquium — a clear indication that it is meant to distract the attention and focus of department idea to de-racialise print media by increasing black ownership and control, as well as its role in support of development.

“We want to make it clear that transforming the white-owned media industry remains the cornerstone of democratic government. Even if those who don’t want the print media to reflect the demographics of this country picket outside our offices, we will continue to drive the media transformation agenda,” she said.

The NGO is scheduled to protest outside the department’s offices at 10am in response to the so-called ongoing crisis at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The picket in Pretoria will coincide with a protest outside Parliament, where Minister Muthambi will be meeting members of the Portfolio Committee on Communications.

Minister Muthambi said matters surrounding the public broadcaster will be dealt with by Parliament and she will be briefing the committee it terms of section 55 of the Constitution and National Assembly Rules.

“I therefore find the planned picketing suspicious in that the matter being petitioned to the department has received the attention of Parliament, and the committee has called us and the SABC to appear before it.

“Right2Know is now pre-empting the discussion and diluting the environment for the Print Media Colloquium on Thursday. It is my view that people who … support the status quo of the print media are opportunistically manipulating this protest as though they are opposed to issues at the SABC, whereas these are people who are fronting as proponents of those opposed to media transformation in this country,” she said.

Media Transformation Colloquium

Minister Muthambi will host a two-day Media Transformation, Accountability and Diversity Colloquium, which aims to bring together a broad range of stakeholders that will contribute to a meaningful debate on media transformation, accountability and diversity priorities in the country.

“I am therefore inviting Right2Know to join other stakeholders at this important gathering,” said Minister Muthambi.

The colloquium will start on Thursday, August 25 at Freedom Park in Pretoria. – SAnews.gov.za

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