The FBJ lodged an appeal approximately three months after the SAHRC announced its finding. “Our lawyers were busy with other things. Legal matters take long,” says Abbey Makoe, the acting chairperson of the FBJ.
The SAHRC found that the organisation’s blanket restriction on membership based on race was unconstitutional.R
This came after Katy Katopodis, group editor-in-chief of Primedia Broadcasting, had lodged a complaint in April claiming the FBJ’s exclusion of white journalists from an off-the-record briefing with ANC president Jacob Zuma, amounted to unfair discrimination.
The SAHRC investigated the complaint and recommended that the FBJ’s policy on membership be revisited.R
Makoe told TheMediaOnline soon after that the FBJ planned to hold an AGM to discuss issues of exclusivity. The AGM has not taken place. However, a convention of black journalists did. “The convention decided that the AGM could wait. We should concentrate on submitting an appeal instead,” says Makoe.R
When asked why the forum had been so quiet, Makoe responded, “We have only been quiet publicly. The FBJ has been engaged in a number of activities.” R
Makoe would not elaborate: “That is not for public consumption.”R
The FBJ is still functioning as a body for the previously disadvantaged.
The SAHRC has confirmed that it has received the appeal. Its spokesperson, Vincent Moaga, says the matter will be handled accordingly.
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