Malema fielded a host of questions from journalist assembled by Samkelo Maseka, who recently asked National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) if they would be charging the EFF leader for corruption relating to the VBS scandal.
That question led to Malema saying he would lay his cards on the table and host a group of five journalists, with Daily Maverick’s Pauli van Wyk, who he previously banned fro his press conferences, also invited to join.
Van Wyk declined, saying that the entire exercise was merely a PR stunt.
During the briefing, Malema outlined his position on the media and journalists, who he has accused of treating with contempt and malice.
“They are criminals masquerading as journalists,” he said of the journalists he has publicly accused of breaching journalistic ethics and using their platform to promote an ulterior motive.
MALEMA SAYS HE ONLY BANS JOURNALISTS WHO PUSH POLITICAL AGENDAS
He mentioned another journalist – Ranjeni Munusamy of the Sunday Times – who he has publicly accused of accepting an illicit payment from Crime Intelligence back in 2008 in exchange for bespoke reporting that would strategically smear politicians.
None of these accusations have been proven, and Munusamy has publicly denied the claims after being placed on special leave by the Sunday Times in October 2019.
“I told you about Ranjeni. I told you this person is not a journalist.”
“You must continue to be a journalist even when you receive money from the Secret Service? Why do you want to conclude that we are guilty yet she is not guilty based on allegations?”
He denied that he had a problem with journalists, and said that he would support journalism on the condition that reporting is fair and based on an objective appraisal accurate information.
“I don’t ban journalists, I’m with journalists now. I ban criminals who use journalism to further political agendas. I will also defend journalism from brown envelopes.”
PAULI VAN WYK DECLINES INVITATION TO ‘PR STUNT’
Van Wyk, speaking to Cape Talk on Thursday, said that she was not going to attend the meeting because of the way in which she had been treated by Malema and because the event seemed more like a PR stunt than a legitimate opportunity to seek the truth on matters pertaining to corruption.
“You must remember, the Daily Maverick, which I write for, and amaBhungane our other investigative team has been banned by the EFF and Mr Malema specifically because we wrote about VBS.
She said that the EFF are flip-flopping on their principles by using the media only when it suits them.
“He publicly banned us, and he must publicly unban us – because we cannot have a fascist or a party that has this movement against the media – and when it pleases them they ban us, but when they want to have a PR movement and when they are panicking about arrests coming, they suddenly want us at their beck and call.
She said his behaviour to her had been abhorrent.
“I am not going to be called by politicians for a PR stunt.”
“He called me Satan, and dishonest and I was accused of having romantic relationships with the people investigating VBS and called all things bad.”
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