INDABA Newsletter | April/May 2011

Networking forum

What a show!

Members who attended the networking forum on Saturday evening, 30 April at the Carousel Casino certainly had a great time as the casino’s team � General Manager Harry Swart, Tania, Basil and Andrea went out of their way to entertain us.

Following tasty eats and drinks and an exciting raffle at the casino’s lapa, ZamaJobe who has shrugged off the mantle of �just another Idols contestant’ and emerged as one of the country’s premiere performers, enthused the crowd in the Cheyenne Saloon. Among others, she performed hits from her albums Ndawo Yami and Ndoni Yamanzi.

When member Breeda Veldman developed kidney problems, the Casino’s paramedics rushed her to the Urology Hospital where she was admitted. After passing two kidney stones, she was fine and released.

Once again thanks to the Casino team for a remarkable evening.

This month’s networking forum will be held at the CSIR on 25 May. Details to follow.

Ben Rootman and Antoinette Slabbert enjoying a glass.
Carousel Casino and Entertainment World General Manager Harry Swart welcoming members.
Seipati Sentle (right) and friends.

The 2011 media event

With a third of the world’s population of seven billion people watching, the wedding of British Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday, 29 April is certainly so far this year’s media event. At one stage the wedding was mentioned online every 10 seconds!

And National Press Club Chairman Yusuf Abramjee was there! Almost. Yusuf attended celebrations at the British High Commission, together with club members Val Boje and Elaine Ash.

Yusuf also met with Prince William earlier when he was in South Africa.

We wish the couple a prosperous future.

The famous kiss(es).
When William met Yusuf.
Elaine Ash, Yusuf Ambramjee and Val Boje celebrating in real royal style.

World Press Freedom Day – journalists must be bold and fearless

The National Press Club has called on government to ensure that press freedom is upheld and that journalists are allowed to do their jobs without interference, intimidation, abuse or harassment.

In a statement marking World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the club also called on the Libyan government to immediately release South African photographer, Anton Hammerl and other journalists.

National Press Club Chairman Yusuf Abramjee said “the continued detention of our colleagues in Libya is worrying.

“We again appeal to the South African government to assist and to pressurize Libya to release Hammerl. It’s now going for three weeks and as we mark World Press Freedom Day, Hammerl and others who are in detention are in our thoughts and prayers.

“I’ve recently had discussions with Libya’s ambassador to South Africa, Dr Abdoola Al-Zubedi, who promised to assist. We hope to meet him this week again to follow-up and see what, if any, progress has been made.

“Journalists should be allowed to do their work without any fear, intimidation, abuse, harassment or detention. In many parts of the world, members of the media are targeted and we condemn this in the strongest terms,” said Abramjee.

The club also paid tribute to reporters who have been killed in the line of duty. “Many have lost their lives and on this occasion, we again remember them and we salute them.”

Abramjee said media freedom had to be protected. “Any laws that will hamper us in what we do will be strongly opposed.”

“We appeal to newspapers to have some open white spaces on their pages tomorrow as part of World Freedom Day to show readers what can and will happen if we are censored or silenced. Radio and TV stations should also dedicate a few seconds of �dead air’ to create awareness around media clampdowns,” he said.

Abramjee said there have been a number of worrying incidents where journalists have been intimidated and threatened with arrest – and in some cases, even arrested – by members of the South African Police Service while doing their job.

“We will continue to raise our concerns with the police leadership. We must be allowed to work freely,” he said.

Abramjee reiterated the need for the media to be fair, balanced and independent.

“We must ensure that we pride ourselves on accuracy and on balanced reporting. If and when we err, we must be bold enough to apologise with the same prominence as the original report,” he said.

“Journalists have to be bold and fearless.

“We must continue to expose wrongdoing at every turn. We must be the watchdogs for society,” said Abramjee.

Background to World Press Freedom Day:
The United Nations General Assembly declared 3 May to be World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.

Toastmasters International honours Yusuf Abramjee

Toastmasters International presented a prestigious award to media personality, Yusuf Abramjee, for “an outstanding contribution to his community and country”.

Abramjee, Head of News and Current Affairs at Primedia Broadcasting and National Press Club Chairman, received the “Communication and Leadership Award” in Mogale City recently.

The International President of Toastmasters International, Canadian Pat Johnson presented the award to Abramjee.

“This award is given to those individual non Toastmasters who have exhibited exceptional communication and leadership skills to the benefit of society at large,” said District Governor for Southern Africa, Rob Douglas.

“Yusuf’s driving role behind the highly successful Crime Line campaign and the more recent LEAD SA initiative, have justifiably earned him this recognition,” said Douglas.

Previous recipients of this award included archbishop Desmond Tutu, former president F W de Klerk, late Proteas captain Hansie Cronje, actor Pieter Dirk Uys, business leader Clem Sunter and former governor of the Reserve Bank, Chris Stals.

Abramjee said he was “honoured and humbled” to have received the award.

Abramjee was the main founder of the Crime Line campaign, the anonymous 32211 SMS tip-off service which was launched in June 2007.

Over 1 000 arrests have been made and almost R40 million worth of stolen property, counterfeit goods and drugs have been seized.

In his acceptance speech, Abramjee said: “The Toastmasters International Award is most appreciated and we will continue to do the right thing – drive our nation for the better. We all need to lead and make a difference.

“Lead SA and Crime Line are making a difference. Every citizen is a leader in his and her own right. We all need to work together,” he said.

Abramjee said the recently launched Bill of Responsibilities “was already making a difference and the message was fast spreading.

“Each and every one of us need to play a role. We have rights but with it goes responsibilities,” he said.

Toastmasters International President Pat Johnson (left) and Southern African Governor, Rob Douglas, presents Yusuf with the Communication and Leadership Award.

New members

The National Press Club welcomes the following new members and hopes to see them at club events soon:

Jan van der Walt � Game & Hunt Magazine, Derrick Banks, Vanessa Jackson, Werner Vermaak & Andr� Visser � ER24 EMS (Pty) Ltd, Anna Teichert � It’s a Wrap Productions, Daniella du Plooy � eNuus, Khabonina Maduna � UNISA, Pauli van Wyk � Beeld.

Photograph of the month

Andries Tatane was allegedly killed by police officers during recent protest in Ficksburg regarding poor municipal service delivery.

So that this never happens in South Africa again!
Photographer Willem van der Berg, Volksblad.


Please send any news, suggestions or information for this newsletter to Martin van Niekerk at the secretariat on,
+27 (0)12 804 5199. Visit the website at