Picket planned over ed­i­tor

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

THE Right2Know Cam­paign has ap­pealed for con­cerned cit­i­zens and or­gan­i­sa­tions to at­tend a picket for press free­dom and ed­i­to­rial in­de­pen­dence.

The picket will take place on Tues­day out­side the of­fices of In­de­pen­dent News­pa­pers in St Ge­orge’s Mall, in the CBD, from 12 noon to 2pm.

The cam­paign said yes­ter­day that the picket fol­lowed the re­moval of Cape Times ed­i­tor Alide Das­nois last Fri­day.

Right2Know was orig­i­nally formed to op­pose the Pro­tec­tion of State In­for­ma­tion Bill, but said yes­ter­day that the ac­tions of com­pany own­ers Sekun­jalo Hold­ings had set “a wor­ry­ing prece­dent”.

Right2Know charged that Sekun­jalo had com­pro­mised ed­i­to­rial in­de­pen­dence of the Cape Times by dis­miss­ing Das­nois, and threat­en­ing to sue her and reporter Me­lanie Gosling.

It claimed that Das­nois’s dis­missal was in re­sponse to the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor’s re­port into the is­su­ing of a ten­der to Sekun­jalo Ma­rine Ser­vices Con­sor­tium by the Fish­eries depart­ment, cov­ered on the front page of the pa­per on Fri­day last week.

How­ever, Dr Iqbal Survé, chair­man of In­de­pen­dent News and Me­dia SA, has dis­puted the claim, say­ing that Das­nois was not fired, but rather of­fered al­ter­na­tive posts in the com­pany.

He also de­nied that her re­moval was the re­sult of the ar­ti­cle in ques­tion.

Surve re­sponded to the is­sues raised in an open let­ter to staff.

Mean­while Sekun­jalo In­vest­ments Lim­ited yes­ter­day an­nounced that it would pur­sue its com­plaints about the con­duct of jour­nal­ists of the Sun­day Times and the Cape Times with the Press Om­buds­man, rather than in the courts.

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