Postponed briefing by the Deputy Minister of Police

The National Press Club has received media enquiries about the planned briefing by the Deputy Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, that was scheduled for Wednesday, 4 November 2009 and the subsequent postponement. We received a request from the office of Mbalula in October to host a briefing. Items on the agenda were provided by the Office of the Deputy Minister: “2010 security preparations, visible policing, administration and the ANC pre-and-post Polokwane political realignment and the future.” The original briefing was scheduled for last Monday 26 October but was postponed at his request because according to Mbalula’s office he had another engagement. It was later re-scheduled for Wednesday, 4 November, and invitations were circulated to members and the general media on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon (prior to the briefing), we received scores of RSVP’s. The briefing was cancelled late on Tuesday afternoon at the request of Mbalula. In a circular to the media, we said: “The National Press Club regrets to announce that the media briefing with Fikile Mbalula, the Deputy Minister of Police, that was scheduled to take place tomorrow morning, 4 November 2009, has been cancelled on his request.” Mbalula did indicate that he still wants to address the National Press Club and that a “new date” will be provided. The National Press Club hosts media briefings regularly with newsmakers. We wish to point out that suggestions that there was political pressure on us to cancel the briefing are completely untrue. As a Press Club guest, the final decision lay with Mbalula himself who requested we cancel and re-schedule. The National Press club remains committed to providing a platform to all people whom we deem are newsworthy.