Picket planned over editor
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.