Na aanleiding van voorvalle waarin wetstoepassers deelnemers aan nuusprogramme onregmatig belemmer en bedreig het, stel Sakeliga ‘n regsmening aan lede van die media en mediaorganisasies beskikbaar. Die regsmening sit die regte van die media om onderhoude met gaste te voer – of hulle vir ander doeleindes uit te nooi om na die mediaperseel te reis – uiteen, en voorsien riglyne oor hoe die regte van die gaste beskerm kan word in die geval dat hulle deur wetstoepassers gestop word.
Onderstaande is ‘n uittreksel uit ‘n brief vanaf Sakeliga, met regsmening ingesluit, aan joernaliste en mediaorganisasies. Vir die volledige brief en regsmening, klik op die skakel aan die einde.
Dear Members of the Media and Media Organisations,
Legal opinion on your rights and the rights of your guests and collaborators
Through unpleasant personal experience it has come to our attention that law-enforcement is obstructing your guests and collaborators from reaching you, or discouraging them through attempted intimidation, incorrect information, and illegal instructions from accepting your invitations to attend discussions and live interviews with you at your offices and studios.
This letter is accompanied by a legal opinion regarding your freedom to invite, interview, and collaborate with persons who are not members of the media. The opinion also offers guidelines on what you could do to mitigate the risks your guests face when travelling upon your invitation.
Whether unjustified obstruction by law-enforcement is the result of incorrect instructions to police officers from their superiors, or by incorrect interpretation of the regulations by the police officers themselves, or by wilful misconstruction of the regulations by officers with a view to gaining personal advantage through bribes or otherwise, is not of key importance. What matters is that the media’s vital role in the maintenance of a constitutional order, characterised by a distribution of power – by checks and balances – cannot be overstated. Given the current extensive infringements on the rights of the public and the unprecedented centralisation of power in the executive branch of the state, the ability of the media to perform its functions should be closely guarded.