THE South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has resolved to revive its discussions with senior police leaders to secure the media’s right to report crime stories, according to a report in Business Day

Incidents of intimidation of journalists by officers at crime scenes have raised new concerns that some police officers are continuing “to treat journalists in a negative manner”, enforcing unofficial curbs on reporting.

Sanef chairman Jovial Rantao said in a statement after the council meeting in Cape Town on Saturday that the forum had undertaken to lobby the government to pay attention to these issues, including amending or withdrawing “all punitive laws” such as Section 205 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

Sanef called on National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane to respond to its plea to reverse his decision to gag prosecutors from speaking to the media.

“Noting that many South African institutions are increasingly blocking their members from speaking to the public via the media, we will develop a campaign to promote a national culture of openness,” the editors said.