The EFF has welcomed the withdrawal of broadcasting channel eNCA from its elective conference.
Speaking at a media briefing after delivering the political report at the party’s second National People’s Assembly in Nasrec on Friday, Malema said eNCA’s withdrawal was unfortunate, because the channel had continued to cover the party’s events, even after it had announced it would not be allowing amaBhungane and Daily Maverick to its press conferences.
The EFF announced the media ban while hosting a memorial service for the late former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.
Malema said the channel’s withdrawal from the conference meant that it would not be covering any of its events in the future.
“We don’t want to see any eNCA anywhere, at any of our events. If that is going to be their attitude, let them bring it on.
“We have not expelled them. We never had a problem with them, we said we have a problem with amaBhungane,” he said.
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Malema said that, since the party had taken its stance on the publications, it had been at the eNCA studios on various occasions and had never been asked about amaBhungane.
eNCA earlier announced its decision to withdraw from covering the four-day event, in solidarity with the banned publications, its editor Jeremy Maggs said.
Maggs said the EFF’s decision was an attack on media freedom in the country and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
‘You can ask us any question you want’
He added that it was also regrettable the channel would not bring its audience news of the event.
“But eNCA has to take a firm stand on media freedom by showing solidarity with organisations barred from attending”.
Malema said that, when the party had taken a stance against ANN7, eNCA had never expressed solidarity with the channel.
On Friday, Sanef released a statement calling on the EFF to reverse its decision to ban certain publications from covering the elective conference. The forum said it had learnt that Daily Maverick, Scorpio, amaBhungane and Rapport had been banned from the conference, News24 reported.
Shortly after the statement was released, News24’s editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson announced that, as an act of solidarity with the banned publications, News24 would make their stories available and ask questions on the banned publications’ behalf.
Malema said News24 journalists were welcomed to ask questions on behalf of the publications.
“You can ask us any question you want to ask us. We have no problem with the media holding us accountable at all,” he said.
He reiterated that no media was banned at the conference, but that the party simply refused to associate itself with some media. He said the media was, however, biased and partisan because, when the ANC called for the Sunday Times to be boycotted, there were no questions asked.