The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) says that it cannot take any action against the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) in Gauteng, following threats by that organisation on Tuesday to petrol-bomb the offices of newspapers that publish matric results this year.
"Sanef deals with media freedom of expression and promotes quality, ethics and diversity in South African media," Sanef secretary Reggy Moalusi told HuffPost on Wednesday.
As a result, he would not be drawn on questions related to the threats by Cosas, saying that the threats are directed at publishing businesses, and were not a matter of press ethics.
Cosas has called the practice of publishing the student numbers of Grade 12 learners who have passed a "suicidal act" and "an invasion of learners' results".
The threat was made as the country awaits the release of the 2017 matric results on Friday.
In a strongly worded Cosas statement, provincial chairperson Wandile Mofokeng and provincial secretary Sibusiso Sithole asserted that the public release of results in newspapers adversely affected learners' confidence.
Cosas, a student movement representing basic education pupils formed in the 1970s, said it would "boycott" the release of matric results in Gauteng, if the provincial department of education continued giving newspapers the student numbers and names of learners who have passed.
Attempts by HuffPost to get comment from the Publishers Association of South Africa (Pasa) on the Cosas threat had received no response by the time of publication. Pasa works to promote and protect the rights and responsibilities of the independent publishing sector in South Africa and to coordinate industry representation.