Durban mayor orders investigation after media barred from DA briefing
eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has poured cold water on allegations that she ordered metro police to stop journalists from attending a DA media briefing at the Durban city hall on Tuesday.
Her office said in a statement on Wednesday that she had been inundated with calls from leaders and members of various political parties seeking clarity over the reports alleging that she told the city's police to stop media from attending the hearing.
"From the outset, we wish to assure the people of SA that mayor Gumede has reiterated her commitment towards working with the members of the media to inform the public at large about the socio-economic and political developments in eThekwini municipality.
"The mayor and the municipality view members of the fourth estate as an important cog in the wheel of democracy. Mayor Gumede further affirms her commitment to defend freedom of expression and to ensure that this freedom which was fought for by many is enjoyed by all."
The statement said that the mayor was unaware of the DA press briefing until she received calls and text messages from ANC leadership and other leaders of political parties.
"Therefore, reports linking her to the commotion are untrue and are based on false statements and not facts. To this end, mayor Gumede has ordered an investigation to establish circumstances surrounding this incident."
The report of the investigation would be made public, according to the mayor's office.