After things got heated during Jessie Duarte’s media briefing this afternoon, the ANC Deputy
Duarte launched into a two-minute lecture aimed at eNCA journalist Samkele Maseko when he put a question to her after she had concluded her briefing.
Duarte’s actions have dominated headlines and social media as journalists and the public at large question Duarte’s treatment of the press.
In the statement released by her office in the aftermath of the clash with Maseko, she attempts to explain why she behaved as she did. As set out in the statement:
“At the beginning of the briefing, the DSG [Duarte] explained that she would only read the media statement, but if there are any questions outside the statement, these should be referred to the ANC Acting National Spokesperson after DSG finished reading the media statement, eNCA reporter, Mr. Maseko engaged in an unacceptable and unprofessional outburst.”
“The DSG has requested a meeting with the editorial team of
With this being an election year, Duarte and the rest of the ANC executive will need to be wary of antagonising the press. The DA in their statement made mention that this was not the first time that Duarte took a member of the media to task.
They noted a similar incident in 2016 for which they have a video of. The reporter on that occasion was Luyolo Mkentane.
The statement concludes that Duarte “reiterates her commitment to freedom of the media and editorial independence which has been championed by the ANC for many years.”
However, it seems that whatever commitment she might have to the freedom of the media might match the amount of respect she has for journalists if her actions are anything to go by.