The South African Broadcasting Corporation on Friday officially broke
ranks with the SA National Editors' Forum in protest over its stance on
Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and the publication of her
medical records, writes Angela Qintal in the Saturday Star.

It has resigned from Sanef.

In a letter to Sanef, the SABC said it would no longer stand idle "whilst we are being made a whipping boy and a scapegoat by the profit-driven media".

"Even less are we prepared to associate with the enemies of our freedom and our people. We cannot remain quiet while our mothers and our democratically chosen leaders are stripped naked for the sole reason of selling newspapers. This in Women's Month, nogal."

The letter is likely to give ammunition to those of the SABC's detractors who accuse it of bias and being the mouthpiece of the ruling party, a claim repeatedly rejected by the SABC.

The SABC says its decision to break ties with Sanef was based on the "epidemic deterioration of journalistic ethics within your ranks and disrespect for our people".

Relations have been strained for some time with the editors' body, although the new Sanef leadership was trying to mend bridges with the SABC, the largest media organisation in the country and on the continent. A meeting was held only last week between SABC CEO Dali Mpofu and the forum's chairperson Jovial Rantao.

Rantao confirmed he had received the letter and said Snarf would seek a meeting with the SABC to discuss its contents.

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