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Fri Oct 31 18:27:09 SAST 2014

Media freedom is not a licence to defame: iLIVE

Thabo Thwala, Bothaville | 19 November, 2012 00:05
Mamphela Ramphele book launch
Mamphela Ramphele wants a government that is afraid of losing power Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Image by: Foto24 / Nasief Manie / Gallo Images

It is astounding that in South Africa, statements are published in the media without facts being checked.

Dr Mamphela Ramphele, for instance, has been allowed to claim arbitrarily that South African Democratic Teachers' Union-affiliated teachers are drunkards who abuse pupils. In contrast, National Professional Teachers' Organisation members are deemed professional.

These sentiments are published daily without an effort to ascertain facts.

Undoubtedly, it is known that some teachers, irrespective of their union affiliation, have acted unprofessionally. But it is a gross insult to paint Sadtu members as such.

The media publishes such unbalanced remarks as though they are the truth.

Media freedom does not extend to insults.

We expect that the media will follow up and disprove Ramphele's claims - the same way it goes after the government. Is it not the duty of the media to expose lies?

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