The Black First Land First (BLF) movement shall on Wednesday, 23 November, join a march, to be led by the Forum of Journalists for Transformation (FJT), to the offices of The Citizen newspaper. BLF is appauled by the silence of the so-called “media freedom” champions about the silencing of Steve Motale as editor of The Citizen. We are shocked and outraged that the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), Right2Know campaign and the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) have allowed the white owner of The Citizen to lynch a well respected editor. We ask, what kind of editors do these institutions support? What kind of media freedom do they defend?
Steve Motale was suspended by the owners of The Citizen for publishing stories which are out of sync with a pro-White Monopoly Capital agenda. In South Africa only one form of journalism is allowed – one that which supports colonialism and apartheid. Anyone writing the truth which exposes how deeply corrupt white capital is, is terrorized into silence. Caxton, which is the owner of The Citizen, is harassing their own journalists who write the truth.
It is no wonder that institutes like FXI are silent on the Motale issue. The Chairman of the FXI, Anton Harber, is a Caxton Professor at the Wits University Journalism Department, meaning his professorship is funded and tied to Caxton, the same company which owns The Citizen.
There is no doubt in the mind of BLF that Steve Motale and other journalists at The Citizen are silenced because they have dared to write stories that expose state capture by white capital and corruption by those involved in regime change campaigns to remove President Jacob Zuma and replace him with a darling of the West and South African capital, such as Cyril Ramaphosa.
BLF doesn’t believe it’s a mere coincidence that Steve Motale was suspended weeks after publishing, amongst others stories, the alleged corruption of former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel entailing R100 million tenders at SARS which ballooned to R1 billion! The matter is being investigated by the HAWKS. This story also implicates the current Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
There was also a story on the ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu. The latter is the new darling of the white establishment as he is seen as an agent of regime change from within the ANC itself.
BLF also notes that only The Citizen newspaper has been consistent in reporting fairly on our campaign to recover the R26 billion stolen from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). Only The Citizen in the print media has followed the story of how BLF has been trying hard to get the former public protector, Thuli Madonsela, to pay attention to the R26 billion and stop protecting Johann Rupert.
BLF shall be joining the real media freedom defenders on Wednesday to protest the attack on media freedom by white capital. We call on our people who are genuinely for media freedom to come out and support the call of FJT on Wednesday.
If we don’t defend true media freedom we are allowing the enemies of the truth to thrive. We must say no to the attack on media freedom and #HandsOffSteveMotale.