Stratcom labels for journalists are 'incredibly dangerous' - Sanef

- | a week ago

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) says it is concerned about the increasing use of the term "Stratcom" to describe journalists.

"In the past few weeks, the ANC and EFF have both referred to journalists these parties disagree with as supposedly belonging to 'Stratcom'. In the most recent case, the ANC issued a statement labelling Pieter-Louis Myburgh 'Stratcom' for writing his book on [ANC secretary general] Ace Magashule," Sanef said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sanef had strongly condemned the "violent disruption" at the launch of Myburgh's book, at Exclusive Books in Sandton on Tuesday evening.The forum pointed out that in April 2018, titles in the Independent Media group also labelled journalists reporting critically on the company's chairperson, Iqbal Survé, as "Stratcom" members.

Stratcom was the name of a dirty-tricks unit that operated under the apartheid State Security Council. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) heard evidence from former Stratcom members about how they would infiltrate media houses and use the media to spread disinformation about struggle leaders such as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

READ:'People cannot oppose freedom of expression' - ANC distances itself from Magashule book launch chaosThis disinformation led to the death of activists and the manipulation of the truth to suit the National Party's agenda.

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