On the same day Sanef and Standard Bank met and discussed the incident that took place at the bank’s head offices in Rosebank, where a Daily Maverick (DM) journalist was harshly removed by the bank’s security.
The meeting was held in an atmosphere of mutual respect, acknowledging the important role that the media plays in society and recognising the tough environments and conditions under which the media must operate.
The parties discussed the protocols required to ensure that journalists stay safe as they conduct their day-to-day reporting. Sanef used the opportunity to reiterate the importance of prior engagement when media attend volatile situations that involve protests and conflict.
“We applaud Sanef for the direct, firm, honest, humane, respectful and principled manner in which they approached this matter. We appreciate the opportunity extended by Sanef to engage with Standard Bank,” says Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank Group CEO.
He adds, “We hold the media in very high regard and reaffirm our commitment to supporting freedom of the press. A free media is a central pillar of our constitutional democracy. Equally, a free and unhindered media is needed to create and maintain the conditions for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
Tshabalala also says that Standard Bank is deeply committed to our Constitution and to supporting economic and human development in South Africa. “We are, therefore, a firm and steady supporter of the rule of law and of media freedom. We will continue to defend and uphold these fundamental rights.”
“One of the key agreements in the meeting was that journalists’ work needs to be respected and they must be afforded the space to do their work. Further, the rise in threats, intimidation, and harassment of particularly women journalists needs to come to an end,” says Sbu Ngalwa, Sanef chairperson.
Sanef reiterates that Standard Bank should ensure that their security personnel never physically tackle and intimidate journalists again.