The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) on Tuesday said TV personality Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung’s insults directed at two journalists are a direct attack on media freedom in the country.
It’s understood Mhlongo-Motaung attacked the journalists from the Sunday World and the City Press after they offered him the right of reply on separate stories they were published last week.
Instead of commenting on the stories, the TV personality used his Instagram page to insult the journalists and exposed their names and cell phone numbers to his 3.7 million followers.
Sanef said Mhlongo’s conduct has led to these journalists being threatened by his fans.
The forum’s Sbu Ngalwa said that media freedom must be protected in the country: “Worldwide, we’ve seen similar attacks being meted out on journalists with the intent to silence their voices, especially that of women and the stories they tell. As Sanef, we are calling on Mhlongo to unreservedly apologize to these journalists and the public on all of his social media platforms for his unbecoming behaviour.”
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