Politicians ordered suspension of New Era News Editor: Amupanda

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

The leader of the Affirmative Repositioning Movement, Job Amupanda, has alleged that Jonathan Beukes, the Managing Editor of the state-owned newspaper, New Era, was suspended on the instructions of politicians.

Amupanda claims this suspension occurred because Beukes was adhering to media ethics and not promoting what he refers to as the corrupt regime.

Christof Maletsky, the Chief Executive Officer of New Era Newspaper, confirmed Beukes’ suspension to the Windhoek Observer but declined to divulge more information on what led to the suspension, citing the matter as internal.

“Yes, he is suspended while we are investigating further; I can’t tell you more… because it’s an internal matter,” Maletsky stated.

However, Amupanda believes there is political interference in New Era’s editorial work, leading to the suspension of the Managing Editor.

“Jonathan Beukes has been suspended on instructions of politicians because he is not promoting the corrupt regime but instead sticking to media ethics,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, the Namibia Media Professionals’ Union (NAMPU) has condemned Beukes’ suspension, stating it raises serious concerns about press freedom, journalistic independence, and the protection of journalists’ rights in Namibia.

The union described Beukes as a dedicated journalist and competent editor, highlighting that he has been suspended without any formal charges and suggesting that his suspension is a result of his commitment to professional duties.

Jemima Beukes, NAMPU Acting Secretary-General, emphasized the essential role of journalists in a democratic society like Namibia and highlighted their responsibilities in delivering accurate information, holding those in power accountable, and promoting transparency within all branches of government.

She urged the New Era management and the Ministry of Information, Communications, and Technology to reinstate Beukes immediately and provide a full and transparent account of the reasons behind his suspension.

“We demand that the rights of media professionals to report freely and independently be respected and protected. Furthermore, we urge the government and all stakeholders to safeguard the independence of the press and respect the critical role that journalists play in our society,” she stressed.

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