Tuesday 20 September 2016
Cape Town Press Club pays tribute to Allister Sparks - his voice will be missed
The Cape Town Press Club notes with deep sadness the passing of veteran journalist Allister Sparks on Monday.
Allister last addressed the Cape Town Press Club earlier this year, when he spoke about his book, “The Sword and the Pen”.
Sparks observed, chronicled and participated in our country's unfolding drama for more than 66 years, covering events from the premiership of DF Malan to the presidency of Jacob Zuma, witnessing at close range the rise and fall of apartheid and the mixed results of the new South Africa.
In 2010, he delivered the Press Club’s annual Barry Streek Memorial Lecture and spoke about media freedom.
He said, “The strongest card we have to play in this brinkmanship game is the knowledge that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that any newspaper could ever publish about the Government that could do half as much damage to its reputation in the world as the act of introducing press control itself.” [ Full transcript ]
On behalf of the Committee of the Cape Town Press Club, we pay tribute to the life and legacy of Allister Sparks and extend our heartfelt condolences to his friends and family. His voice will be deeply missed.
Rest in peace Ruth Golembo
The Cape Town Press Club has learned with deep sadness of the sudden passing of one of its former vice chairs,Ruth Golembo. Golembo for many years headed up Lange PR after serving with distinction as a journalist at theSunday Times.
Ruth has been one of the club’s longest serving and most loyal committee members, and helped arrange some of the club's most successful club events and was also much involved in fundraising activities.
Her commitment to the ideals for which the Club stood for, and her energy, work-ethic and talent will remain an inspiration to the rest of us. We will miss Ruth deeply, and send our condolences to her friends, family and colleagues.
Press Club tribute by Joylene van Wyk and Brent Meersman (co-chairpersons), Martin Slabbert (vice-chairperson), Donwald Pressly (secretary general) Paul Vecchiatto, Gail Washkansky, William Smook and Jacques Dommisse.
Parliamentary Press Gallery Association
5 July 2016
Gagging of SABC journalists must fall
The Parliamentary Press Gallery Association is highly disappointed with the decision by the South African Broadcasting Corporation to start disciplinary hearings against Lukhanyo Calata on Tuesday.
Mr Calata has been a long-serving SABC television Parliamentary reporter who has developed a reputation for honest, fair and objective journalist in at times a very difficult working environment.
The disciplinary hearings against Mr Calata are allegedly for his interview with a Cape Town newspaper when he criticised the SABC for a number of corporate changes.
While the association respects the requirement of media houses to restrict their reporters from speaking to rival companies, it believes that there is an exception in this case.
Read the full press release...
CAPE TOWN PRESS CLUB
Thursday 30 June 2016
Cape Town Press Club comments on recent events at SABC
Recent events at the national broadcaster have brought back memories of undemocratic apartheid-era tendencies at the SABC, says the Cape Town Press Club.
“The cancellation of current affairs shows such as Workers on Wednesday and The Editors, the instruction for newspaper headlines to no longer be read on air, the refusal to air visuals of protest action as part of TV news bulletins, and various suspensions of journalists who have objected is all very reminiscent of a past we simply cannot afford to nor could possibly wish to return to,” says the Club’s Chair Brent Meersman.
An atmosphere of fear is reported to exist at the SABC, and does not bode well for freedom of speech and democracy. The Press Club strongly disagrees with some decisions being made by the corporation’s COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who, Meersman says, is accountable to the public as a whole not just the SABC.
The Cape Town Press Club, says Meersman, believes Motsoeneng must go if the SABC, which has a myriad problems that need serious addressing, can even begin to get its house back in order.
“The thousands of committed reporters and broadcasters at the SABC need to have the freedom to meet the commitments they have to the people of South Africa and nobody’s political agenda.”
CAPE TOWN PRESS CLUB
Monday 14 March 2016
John Caviggia's death is a sad loss for Cape Town, says Cape Town Press Club
The Cape Town Press Club is deeply saddened by the death of John Caviggia, who passed away this past weekend.
John served as a member of the Cape Town Press Club committee for many years. He brought with him not only his very eccentric manners and his fine clothing and jewellery, which reflected his great sense of humour. His immense knowledge of the arts and theatre world was of great value to the club.
"I used to call John "Mother Theresa" because he looked a little like a nun on an exceedingly decadent day - bedecked a little like an altar with gold crosses and his pretty things," says Donwald Pressley, former Chairperson and current Secretary General of the Club.
Caviggia had a great interest in the news. He was passionate about South African politics and economics. He made his views well known at our functions for years.
He also took a personal interest in all the members of the club and used to help the secretariat seat the guests and prepare for functions. He just loved helping people and socialising with press club members. On occasion he also chaired functions if they related to the theatre.
The Committee will miss him greatly. Rest in Peace John.
The Cape Town Press Club is the oldest press club in South Africa and we draw our membership from professionals who work in the media in Cape Town.
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|Journalist and commentator Terry Bell @ 6 Spin Street
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
Terry Bell is a labour writer with a difference. He has a forensic knowledge of the South African trade union movement. He believes that South African journalism is seriously under threat. He will talk about what constitutes good journalism “and why we need it especially now”. Bell is one of four journalists and commentators who are taking Independent Media to court in a R2 million defamation suit. “I will also address why, as an ardent campaigner for free speech, I am the first plaintiff.”
|Cape Town Press Club End-Of-Year Lunch with Comedian Barry Hilton
Friday, December 09, 2016
Legendary South African stand-up comedian, actor and TV personality Barry Hilton will be the speaker at the Cape Town Press Club's end-of-year lunch on Friday 9 December. It will be our last event of the year. Barry – aka ‘The Cousin’ – initially worked as an electrician for about 10 years but decided to try his hand at comedy and turned professional in 1983. Considering how the past year has been described by many as a rather awful year on all fronts, Barry will give us a reason to smile and laugh as we wave goodbye to 2016.
|Israeli Ambassador Lenk @ 6 Spin Street Restaurant
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Arthur Lenk began his assignment as Ambassador of Israel to South Africa, Lesotho, Mauritius and Swaziland in early August 2013. Previously he served as the Director of the Department of International Law at Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was responsible for providing legal advice to the Ministry's International Organizations and Policy Planning Divisions, on multilateral and regional issues ranging from human rights and UN affairs to bilateral and security matters. He also coordinated the Ministry's activities on international criminal law matters and has played an active role in representing Israel before international organizations such as the UN Human Rights Council. He also worked as a staff member on the UN Secretary General's Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident. He will talk about Israeli South Africa relations but he will also be asked about the aftermath of the American presidential elections!
|Paul Hoffmann @ Kelvin Grove Club
Friday, November 11, 2016
Confronting the Corrupt, by Paul Hoffmann, tells the stories of the anti-graft work of Accountability Nw, ranging from the arms deals – this is the tale of the infamous Seriti Commission - the inadequacy of the Hawks, the bread manufacturers’ cartel to our last three commissioners of police. It also focuses on the Nkandla saga. Accountability Now’s experiences in these matters have driven the feisty little non-government organisation to champion the establishment of an integrity commission as the anti-corruption machinery of state which is at present so lacking in South Africa.
|Marianne Thamm @ Kelvin Grove Club
Friday, October 28, 2016
Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela and me is Marianne Thamm’s book about her rather unconventional life. Thamm, Daily Maverick journalist, author and commentator, tells about how her German father fought for Hitler and made munitions for Verwoerd. Mr Thamm married her largely illiterate Portuguese mother who worked as a cleaner in England. Today Marianne is the proud mother of two (black) teenagers. Hers is the story of the last century, of the defeat of bigotry and a new era ushered in by Mandela. Sad at times, deeply moving and, like Marianne, hugely entertaining.
|Dennis Cruywagen @ 6 Spin Street Restaurant
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
In The Spiritual Mandela, New Age writer Dennis Cruywagen explores the spiritual aspect of Nelson Mandela’s life. Mandela revealed nothing about his personal religious beliefs in his writings or in his public pronouncements. But those who were close to him know that he held Christian views, and, at his request, the final part of his funeral followed the Methodist service. Based on interviews with some of Mandela’s close colleagues, such as Ahmed Kathrada, as well as priests and other religious figures with whom he interacted, this book unearths an unknown dimension of recent history’s most famous man.
|Author and Premier Helen Zille @ Pavilion Kelvin Grove Club
Monday, October 10, 2016
Hillbrow-born Helen Zille’s long-awaited autobiography, Not Without a Fight is one of the most fascinating political stories of our time. The Cape Town Press Club will be the first organisation in the city to launch the book. This is a story about political intrigue and treachery, floor-crossing and unlikely coalitions, phone tapping and intimidation, false criminal charges and judicial commissions. It documents Zille’s courageous fight against corruption and state capture and her efforts to realign politics and entrench accountability. And it describes a mother’s battle to raise children in the pressured world of South African politics. This book is as frank, honest and unflinching as Helen Zille herself, and will appeal to anyone interested in the story of South African politics over the past fifty years.
|British High Commissioner Dame Judith Macgregor @ 6 Spin Street Restaurant
Friday, October 07, 2016
Dame Judith Macgregor, the British High Commissioner to South Africa, will talk about the challenges posed by BREXIT, the British exit from the European Union. In particular she will ponder trade relations and the impact this will have on South Africa/UK trade. She will take questions
|Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele @ The Lookout
Wednesday, October 05, 2016
The Competition Commission is hosting a media breakfast for all media in Cape Town in collaboration with the Cape Town Press Club. The media breakfast is an opportunity to engage with the executive of the Commission including Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele and have a conversation on the economy and competition policy. The 10th Annual Competition Conference, significant cases such as the AMSA fine and Media24 Predatory Pricing case and key developments on our market inquiries will be some of the news topics which will be discussed.
|Richard Calland @ 6 Spin Street Restaurant
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Richard Calland ponders the question How The Next three Years Will Shape South Africa’s Next Three Decades in his book Make or Break. They will determine whether the country succeeds or fails in the long term. He will consider who will succeed President Zuma and whether the coalition governments in the key cities will hold or fall apart? He will also ponder whether Pravin Gordhan will survive.
|SA First Forum's Vytjie Mentor @ German Club
Thursday, September 08, 2016
Vytjie Mentor is a former ANC MP and ex-chairperson of the national assembly public enterprises portfolio committee. She is now a leading member of the SA First Forum which says it is "deeply concerned" at the direction that the ANC leadership had taken the country. The current state of affairs had been allowed to spiral out of control including anti-constitutionalism, disrespect of the judiciary, misuse of state security apparatus, elements of a police state, abuse of state power for business, political and individual interests.
|Prof Milton Shain @ German Club
Thursday, September 01, 2016
Emeritus Professor Milton Shain recently retired as the Isidore and Theresa Cohen Chair of Jewish Civilisation at the University of Cape Town. He specialises in the history of South African Jewry and the history of anti-Semitism. Shain remains a prolific and penetrating writer in his 'retirement'. He recently received the Recht Malan prize for non-fiction for A Perfect Storm: Antisemitism in South Africa 1930 to 1948, published by Jonathan Ball and described by the judges as history at its most compulsively readable." In a time when violent xenophobia regularly rears its ugly head across the country, the continent and the globe, this marvellous book is a timely reminder of what can happen when politicians in pursuit of power demonize a vulnerable group," the judges said.
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