e-Forum / Media Alert

Stakeholders of Swaziland’s Media Complaints Commission

MISA-Swaziland e-Forum article

The following document was produced by Mr Jabu Matsebula, Ombudsman of Swaziland’s Media Complaints Commission 

The Media Complaints Commission (MCC) Charter recognizes the following stakeholders:
Media stakeholders involved in the development and elaboration of the MCC and its institutional structures agreed that it should be formed exclusively of institutions that have a direct interest in the operation, management and professional content input of news media. These were news media publishers, Editorial Management and Professional Associations.

  1. Individual media institutions: Publishers involved in the development and elaboration of the MCC through the process included all publishers across news genres. Specifically these were: The Times of Swzailand Newspaper; the Nation Magazine; the Swazi Observer; the Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services Radio and Swaziland Television. However broadcasting in Swaziland is still a government monopoly, and Government withdrew its broasdacasters from participation in the MCC.
  2. The Swaziland Editors Forum: The Forum was formed in 2000 and is composed of all editors of titles publishing in Swaziland. These are: The Times of Swaziland, Swazi News, Times Sunday; The Swazi Observer and Weekend Observer; the Nation; the Mirror; Radio  Swaziland and Swazi TV 
  3. The Swaziland National Association of Journalists: The association was formed in 1983 and is made up of all journalists.

The Board
In terms of the MCC Charter the Board is made up of institutional members that commit to subscribe to the MCC. The Board in 2012 was made up of:

The Times of Swaziland: Ms Siphiwe Mabila

The Swazi Observer: Chief Sifiso Khumalo (Replaced Ms. Maxine Langwenya)

The Swaziland Editors Forum: Jabu Matsebula

The Swaziland National Association of Journalists: Mr. Musa Nhleko.

Initially the Board appointed Mr. Michael Motsa as Ombudsman. However he subsequently withdrew from the position. To retain institutional memory the Board resolved to retain him as an additional member.

Ombudsman
The first priority of the Board was the appointment of a Press Ombudsman. Given its financial circumstances and the lack of suitable candidates, it was impossible to operationalise the MCC during 2012. The risk that the MCC going moribund again was real.

In 2013 the Swaziland Editors Forum proposed its Secretary General to assume the position. The gesture was accepted by stakeholders. Subsequently, Mr. Jabu Matsebula became Press Ombudsman with effect from 1st April 2013.

The Arbitration Commission
The Commission is headed by Justice Thomas Masuku. In line with the MCC Charter, the Chair is empowered to deal with complaints on his own. At his discretion, a panel of commissioners can also be assembled to support the Chair. In line with the MCC Charter, civil society members are the majority in any particular quorum of the MCC hearings.

The Secretariat
In line with the MCC Charter, the Press Ombudsman is Secretary of the MCC and administrator of the MCC Secretariat.

The Secretariat has been formalized with effect from the 1st April 2013.

The MCC offices are housed within the offices of the Media Institute of Southern Africa, Swaziland Chapter at 56 African City Arcade, Gwamile Street, Mbabane. The offices are highly accessible on the ground floor of the main street of the capital.

To get in touch with Swaziland’s Media Complaints Commission, contact Mr Jabu Matsebula via on email on ombudsman@realnet.co.sz or call 2404 9700 or 2404 6677.

MCC notice in Times of Swaziland

How to correct the press… the notice on page 1 of the Times of Swaziland inviting readers to contact the newspaper’s internal ombudsman or the media complaints ombudsman if they feel something needs to be corrected, or if readers believe the code of ethics has been breached

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