South Africa's top editors want a public commitment from the country's spooks, not to recruit or spy on journalists, infiltrate spies into newsrooms, or allow agents to represent themselves as reporters, writes Angela Quintal

The South African National Editors' Forum's call
is contained in a submission to the ministerial review commission on intelligence headed by former deputy safety and security minister Joe Matthews.

The submission by Sanef's media freedom committee, chaired by veteran editor Raymond Louw , is one of three published on the intelligence ministry's website.

The commission launched in November, is tasked with making recommendations to Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils on, among other things, "reducing the potential for illegal conduct and abuse of power".

The closing date for submissions has been extended to July 16.

The Sanef submission details how the apartheid regime maintained spies in newsrooms and thrived on disinformation and misinformation, conduct since rejected under democratic rule as outlined in the 1994 white paper on intelligence.

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