The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls for the removal of Zak Yacoob as Cricket South Africa's (CSA) acting Board Chairperson following the release of a recording in which he can be heard verbally attacking a TimesLive journalist.
We condemn the former Judge's disgraceful and aggressive attitude towards the journalist as it is unbecoming for someone in his position.
In a telephone call with the reporter regarding the suspension of CSA acting CEO, Kugandrie Govender, Yacoob can be heard hurling all manner of insults towards the journalist who was merely trying to do their job. He referred to the journalist as "dishonest", "idiot" and accused the journalist of being "a rogue and dirty journalist."
It is not the first time that CSA has been embroiled in controversy related to the treatment of the media. Last year, CSA came under fire after it revoked media accreditation of journalists because they wrote about the dire state of cricket in the country.
In a democratic state such as South Africa, freedom of the press must be protected and any attempt to silence or berate journalists must be condemned.
CSA will never operate in a transparent and independent manner if people like Yakoob show complete disregard towards the press - their modus operandi of attempting to silence any kind of dissent will run cricket in this country to the ground.
The DA believes that a vibrant media is the cornerstone of any thriving democracy. And while the media has a responsibility to be fair in their reporting, they also play a central role in holding institutions like CSA to account.
CSA must eradicate the waves of intimidation that have been perpetuated by some of its senior officials over the years. The DA will continue to fight for the protection of the free media and independent reporting, and we will oppose anyone who attempts to stifle media voices.