DA calls on Parliament’s Ethics Committee to act against ANC MP’s insidious threat to freedom of the press

The Democratic Alliance (DA) condemns in the strongest terms the threats made by ANC Member of Parliament, Boy Mamabolo, to shoot Sunday World journalist, Ngwako Malatji.

We will refer Mamabolo to Parliament’s Ethics Committee, to ensure that he is held fully accountable for his statements and that his actions are thoroughly investigated.

Threatening journalists is a serious and insidious problem which, if not properly addressed or challenged, will reverse the gains made towards protecting media freedom and freedom of expression as enshrined in Section 16 of our Constitution.

As a Member of Parliament, Mamabolo has failed to protect and uphold the values enshrined in the Constitution and allow members of media and to carry their responsibilities without fear and intimidation.

We commend Malatji, and his paper, for opening a criminal case against the ANC MP and for pursuing this matter and seeking justice.

The DA has also noted that the ANC has come out to condemn Mamabolo’s actions and given the serious nature of the matter, we urge the ANC in Parliament to pursue this matter with the same same vigour and urgency that they have done in public.

These comments by the ANC MP once again shows the governing party’s disdain for not just the members of the media but South Africans in general. Daily, the ANC demonstrates that the rules that apply to South African citizens do not apply to the ANC.

We have seen this recently in the way the ANC conducts funerals – with no social distancing or Covid-19 protocols being adhered to. Whereas ordinary South Africans are limited to a certain number of people who can observe funerals.

South African’s are receiving criminal records for smoking yet army generals were seen smoking freely without anyone rebuking their actions. Moreover, ordinary South Africans have been criminalised for breaking some of the senseless Covid -19 regulations yet the real criminals who are responsible for looting relief funds remain in their cushioned homes and air-conditioned offices.

The ANC has a poor track record in holding anyone associated with it accountable, it is, therefore, incumbent on Parliament to act in the interest of preserving South Africans’ rights as enshrined in our Constitution. The ANC’s velvet gloves won’t be enough.

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