White media has been the biggest adversary of Jacob Zuma and his Radical Economic Transformation (RET) inclined initiatives since his days of Vice-Presidency under the Mbeki regime. Deliberately creating fake propagandas and news in order to dissuade the reputation of Zuma in all way possible has been its regular occupation since 2005. One of such renowned journos who had been a part of the white media’s malicious campaigns in 2005 is ‘The Citizen’ newspaper editor ‘Steven Motale’. He has personally come out with an open apology letter to President Jacob Zuma citing all the misdoings of the white media to stain the President’s reputation in every way possible, and he himself being apologetic on his involvement. This story was published on IOL on 13th Aug, 2015.
Steven Motale in his letter of apology regretfully admits that he’s been party to the sinister agenda along with many of his colleagues against President Zuma, and can only apologise for that. It’s a message about how the media is as much to blame for the current parlous state of this country’s politics and economy as the politicians and economists who have brought us here.
It all started in 2005 when Judge Hilary Squires handed down judgment to the financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, of the then-deputy president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma.
Shaik was found guilty of corruption and fraud and sentenced to 15 years in jail. But Squires’ verdict had an unintended consequence: it allowed Thabo Mbeki to fire Zuma and cast him out into the political wilderness. At the time, everyone, including Steven, thought that was finally the moment all been waiting for; the moment the ANC would start to clean up its own house.
Zuma deliberately framed by White Media leading to his impeachment in 2005
Was Zuma actually found guilty of corruption in 2005? And, should he have been fired in the first place?
According to all the leading newspapers, there was a strong inclination that he was guilty because the judge, the papers repeatedly mentioned that there was a “generally corrupt relationship” between Shaik and Zuma. In reality, nowhere did he actually say that. The prosecution had said it at the time, all the time, but the judge never did. More than a year later, the white-haired judge felt it necessary to point out that he had made no ruling on Zuma’s corruption or lack of it, and Zuma had not been on trial.
Unlike others, Steven has actually read through the Judge Squires’ entire verdict, where the judge has been very specific that he had never made any pronouncement on Zuma’s guilt or innocence, and that there was no evidence offered to him that Zuma acted improperly in reciprocation of Shaik’s many attempts to corrupt him. Zuma has actually gone out of his way to even send his lawyer to Paris to find out if Shaik had been using his name improperly.
By the time Squires actually came out in open to clarify his real verdict, the damage was already done. Zuma had been fired, setting in play all the elements for his machine gun dance to the Union Buildings.
Once Squires clarified his judgment, Cosatu demanded that Zuma be reinstated. But they were ignored, much like Mbeki had always ignored them.
Steven categorically says, “The truth is that I gloried in reporting on Zuma’s downfall with all the same glee as everyone else in the media at the time. We simply didn’t like him. He simply wasn’t good enough. We’d decided that Zuma would be no good and do no good, and so we read what we wanted in Judge Squires’ ruling, and ignored the old man when he tried to tell us we’d got it wrong.”
It is admirable of the president’s measured, reserved and tolerant nature even after all that he had been through due to the white media.
Unnecessary Propaganda on Zuma’a Nkandla Private Home
There is no doubt that the upgrades to Zuma’s private home in Nkandla saw unacceptably obscene amounts of public money being spent on the project. But who can honestly say they know for a fact that Zuma knew what Public Works was doing and how it was dealing with the matter? Did he tell anyone what to charge and how much to pay?
Such media hue and cry on this topic, yet there has not been a single case in the court against Zuma least to the sake of investigation.
The hatred towards Zuma means that little he does or says is ever reported on positively. He can give a speech for two hours, but the only thing anyone is likely to read about what he said was something “controversial”.
Zuma’s Merciful Stance Towards Mbeki and Others
Zuma has allowed Mbeki his place in the sun, and hasn’t pursued him ruthlessly for the truth of what really went down in the Arms Deal. Today, Mbeki can make his snide comments about how the country is being run, and Zuma lets him be. The same can be said of many others. The same public protector whose report has been such a headache for him is the same one Zuma appointed.
The same chief justice that many of us in the media claimed Zuma had appointed to be his lapdog is the same chief justice who took him on in public about the executive encroaching unacceptably on the judiciary.
The same public protector whose report has been such a headache for him is the same one Zuma appointed.
Anyone Standing Up Against The White Media Gets Slayed
If anyone doubts that the media has an implicit agenda to oppose Zuma, should look at how it treats and portrays anyone who is pro-Zuma, and then examine its same treatment and portrayal of those who want to dig Zuma’s grave. There can be no better example than Julius Malema, who has been both of those people over the past eight years.
When Malema was the man willing to kill for Zuma, the media portrayed him as a fool, a dangerous warmonger whose poor school results needed to be dug up and mocked. Every shred of evidence of corruption was dug up about Malema and global media awards were handed out for that work. Now that he has become Zuma’s number one enemy, he has fans aplenty in the media.
Former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was the same. He was attacked when he called Zuma an “unstoppable tsunami” and was 100% behind Zuma. The media hated him then. Now that he’s part of those calling for regime change, he’s a media darling, a hero, despite being caught with his pants down after promising a junior worker a better job and life, only to induce her to have sex with him on his table, literally offering us a metaphor for how he screws the poor.
With the past that Zuma has had, no one should blame him for expending so much time, energy and national resources of SA to stay out of court. He still has powerful enemies, and South Africa was told in 2008 by yet another judge, Chris Nicholson, that the corruption charges brought against him were politically motivated.
The media has long played the role of unelected opposition to government in South Africa, taking its constitutional duty of being a watchdog to levels beyond what the fourth estate is meant. One hears numerous justifications from editors and journalists for why they give the DA a soft ride and focus all their efforts on discrediting the ANC, but if that’s what we’re about, then we should admit upfront that we’re DA newsletters. Then people would know.
Democratic Alliance (DA), the Darling of White Media
If the white media is unbiased, fair and objective as they claim to be, then why is any wrongdoing in the DA barely ever mentioned in the press? It’s because the “educated classes” who work in the media want regime change “for the sake of democracy”. But the DA is also a ruling party, in the Western Cape, and scandals about its running of that province are like hen’s teeth. Admittedly, the DA has a lot to prove and so is going to run a tight ship, but it can’t be perfect.
Not very long ago, a local newspaper busted a corruption news on the DA mayor of Drakenstein, Gesie van Deventer, who had used a large sum of municipal money to secure her private farm. But this scandal never made it to the national press. The reality was that the media has been the gatekeeper, and perhaps it decided that the world isn’t ready to hear about anything unflattering to the DA.
Steven’s own newspaper ‘The Citizen’ was for years edited and led by a man named Martin Williams’ who promptly joined the DA and became a councillor after his retirement from years of “objective” reporting of the news. This was perhaps a classic example of cadre deployment by a party that has viciously condemned the ruling party for the same policy.
The reason most of the newspaper-reading public appears to be anti-ANC is because most of our newspapers are written for those who happen to be anti-ANC. Many of us in the media bemoan the fact that South Africa appears to be filled with unsophisticated masses who don’t know what’s being written about daily in the papers. But congratulations are in order for the man on the street – for the ANC’s rank file – who has consistently supported Zuma despite the sustained barrage of propaganda against him. The man on the street pays little heed to an agenda that seems to be all about regime change.
A man like Williams faces little condemnation despite the fact that the paper he ran like an extension of his own soul was so clearly pro-DA. I would like to know why no other newspaper reported on the fact that someone who had been the editor-at-large of The Citizen was suddenly a DA councilor a few weeks after resigning from his prominent position in the media. Williams does not have his position today in the DA based on merit but solely for his years of loyal service to the DA.
‘The New Age’ Has Always Been A Victim Of False Pretences
A paper such as ‘The New Age’ that has made it clear from the outset that it exists to portray the positive aspects of the government in order to provide balance to the media spectrum, has been vilified, ridiculed, dismissed and labelled untrustworthy before even a single one of its articles are read.
Simply by being “pro-government” it is tagged as “untrustworthy” by the rest of the industry. But at least it is being honest. What it publishes is subject to the same Press Code as the rest of the industry, and it can’t get away with simply publishing falsehoods. When the rest of the media says that no media person should be judged under a blanket umbrella of distrust by government and that government should rely on the media to self-govern and be governed by the Press Code, surely there should be the same principle to be extended to The New Age? But do we? Is The New Age judged by its content and each of the individual articles it runs? Everyone pours scorn on The New Age for running so much government advertising, yet all newspapers run state advertising, and doesn’t rely on it to survive. The biggest recipient of state advertising has been the Sunday Times, not The New Age.
Finally, Steven goes on to regretfully admit that he has been party to the sinister agenda against Zuma, and can only apologise for that. Perhaps all of us should admit the same and try to move on after excising the festering tumour that we’ve been nursing like a vital organ. But it’s not. It’s dangerous, and needs to go.