ANC STATEMENT ON DISMISSAL OF SABC COMPLAINT AGAINST DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL JESSIE DUARTE
The African National Congress welcomes the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) dismissal of the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) complaint against our Deputy Secretary General, Comrade Jessie Duarte.
The complaint arose after an engagement between the DSG and SABC journalists at the IEC Results Operations Centre after the local government elections on 1 November 2021. The SABC alleged that the DSG’s comments during this
engagement constituted harassment and intimidation of its huge journalists, and breached the Electoral Code of Conduct.
The ANC submitted that the DSGs engagement with SABC journalists constituted a frank and forthright articulation of legitimate concerns regarding the SABC’s coverage of the ANC during the 2021 local government elections. At no stage did she harass, intimidate or threaten physical assault. In no way can the expression of such legitimate concerns, however frankly expressed, constitute a violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
The ANC reiterates its commitment to abide by the Electoral Code of Conduct, as it has done in all elections since the advent of our democracy in 1994.
Furthermore, the ANC remains committed to the protection and promotion of a robust, independent, fair and diverse media, which has a vital role to play in defending, strengthening, and deepening our constitutional democracy.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
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