Statement: Persecution of Karyn Maughan
The Cape Town Press Club notes with alarm the action of former President Jacob Zuma in bringing a criminal prosecution against respected News24 journalist and author Karyn Maughan for doing her job.
The attempt to criminalise a journalist for her work is out of step with South Africa’s democratic constitution and its guarantee of the rights of freedom of expression and the media. It is, however, sadly consistent with apartheid-era attempts to criminalise journalists.
For a former president to make this attempt damages South Africa’s standing in the world, just as it will reinforce this journalist’s reputation, both at home and abroad.
While the Cape Town Press Club has full confidence in South Africa’s courts, we urge the former president to withdraw this apartheid-era action in the interests of South Africa, it’s much admired and constitutionally protected right to free expression, and the former president’s own reputation.