An annual general meeting (AGM) of the FBJ at which its policy on exclusive membership will be discussed, is to take place within the next two weeks.
Abbey Makoe, acting chairperson, says he will, at that meeting, “personally campaign” for the inclusion of whites.
It is, however, up to the FBJ’s members to decide if its constitution will change. Membership is, according to this constitution, limited to the “previously disadvantaged”.
Makoe says regardless of the outcome of the AGM, the FBJ will still appeal the Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) finding that it should review its membership policy.
The SAHRC’s finding follows a complaint from Katy Katopodis, editor of Talk Radio 702 and 94.7 Highveld Stereo, about the exclusion of white journalists from an off-the-record briefing of the FBJ with ANC president Jacob Zuma.
The FBJ has sought legal advice following the SAHRC decision. The organisation believes the finding is the product of a “flawed process”.
It further believes a “second opinion” on the SAHRC’s interpretation of the Constitution is “required”.
Asked if the organisation was prepared to challenge the decision in court, Makoe said it would “leave no stone unturned”.
In response to the FBJ’s rejection of its finding, the SAHRC previously said it could take the matter to court if it wanted to get a “binding view”. This would happen after consultation with the respondent (the FBJ) and the complainant (Katopodis).
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