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Focusing on media freedom and the formulation of a media charter

Focusing on media freedom and the formulation of a media charter


Media Invite by Alan Khan, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at the Durban University of Technology

The Gandhi Development Trust, in partnership with the Durban University of Technology’s Journalism Programme will host the 6th Annual Mahatma Gandhi Media Lecture where Yacoob Abba Omar; Director of Operations of the Mapungubwe Institute (MISTRA), will deliver a keynote address.

MISTRA is a Johannesburg-based research institute focusing on socio-economic, political and scientific challenges faced by South Africa. Omar’s lecture titled: Going back to the future: Reflecting on 20 years of media freedom, will focus on media freedom and the formulation of a media charter.

The objective of the Annual Gandhi Media Lecture is to promote a culture of non-violence by raising awareness on the important role and responsibilities carried out by journalists. Media has the power to influence society and this gives it the onus to report on news responsibly.

Prior to his current position, Omar served in several capacities in the public sector: as South Africa’s Ambassador to Sultanate of Oman; then to the United Arab Emirates and as the Deputy Director-General of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). He had also spent almost five years as the General Manager: Corporate Affairs at the Ministry of Defence’s Procurement wing, Armscor. During this period, he was appointed onto several public sector structures, including the board of the New Media Institute for South Africa (NEMISA) and the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC).

He has had interesting experiences in developing scenarios both in the Presidency as well as the UK’s Ministry of Defence.

Also significant is the many years Omar spent fighting against apartheid as a student leader, community organiser and underground operative of the ANC. He was detained on several occasions and eventually went into exile in 1985 to escape imprisonment. He continued serving the African National Congress on a full-time basis until the 1994 elections. In 1998, Omar was decorated by the Minister of Defence for 15 years of Distinguished Service.

Omar currently serves on the board of Airborne Trust, which looks at job-creation projects for former combatants and Big Media which looks at start-up business proposals in the new media arena. He is also an advisory board member of the Institute for International Management Practice at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

Omar holds a M. Phil in South African Political Economy through NMMU and completed the Advanced Executive Programme through the School of Business Leadership of UNISA. He is currently reading for his PhD on ‘Sovereignty and National Identity in South Africa’ through Wits University.

Details of the lecture are as follows:

Date: Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Time:12am to 2pm
Venue:Arthur Smith Hall, City Campus, DUT

For more information you can contact Nompumelelo Zuma at (031) 373 582 / 078 221 1369 or email:

To RSVP, email: Please RSVP by Tuesday, 18 March 2014 before 4pm.