By: Tiny Nontulo – Nontulo is a graduate of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and an active member of the African National Congress Youth League in South Africa
The media is a monitoring tool for the public in a democratic state. People rely on it to keep up with the functioning of the government in particular. Therefore it is important that we have an objective, unbiased and fair media that we can trust and hold accountable. However our media in SA is contrary to that.
Any sane person, who has been closely following SA political reports as they unraveled pre-elections, will agree with me that media in SA does not have much influence on ordinary South Africans. If they had, ANC would not have won elections with such a huge margin, because of the role played by the media and opposition parties to discredit Jacob Zuma. People still voted him into office regardless of the negative media portrayal about him .
The survey that was recently conducted right after the Love child scandal (by TNS Research survey) clearly showed that i that many ordinary citizens separate their approval of Mr. Zuma as president from his private life.
The President remains the highest man within the country, therefore the public will have certain expectations in terms of how he conducts his life. The media must not only portray the President in a bad manner , rather it should look at how his action could inspire many men who have not been taking responsibility of their children. It remains our responsibility, as the citizens of the country, to report in a manner that builds our country in order to start changing attitudes of many South Africans in creating a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
Central to this is the infringement of rights of the President towards his privacy, which is a constitutional duty of every South African to respect privacy. Our debate with the President should be based on the question of service delivery and how we can better the lives of the poor. I for one find it commendable that he had the courage to apologize for his actions. This could be interpreted as a sign that a politician in RSA finally cares about what the people say and feel regardless of his opinion about the matter.
Before we ride a high horse and become self appointed judges let us pause for a moment. Zuma is a reflection of men in our society. He represents 70% of married men in SA; remember the women with him are older intelligent women who have chosen to be with him.
The media is wasting so much energy on the latter issue. Do people have such pathetic lives to be so moralistic and so involved in what happens in Zuma’s life (or his bedroom to be precise). Everyday Zuma worries about what is best for South Africa, not the petty stuff published by the biased media. We all must concentrate on what he promised the people of South Africa and leave his private life alone.
Leave Zuma alone. The manner in which this issue was handled was totally wrong. We can not deny the fact that this man is our leader, we ought to treat him with respect and dignity. Publicizing his private sex life like this is totally out of order! Service, not sex should be what concerns South Africans.