Zuma’s views on the media and crime expose his unpatriotic streak

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Weekend Argus 30 December 2006 Page 10

By: Pieter Boshoff

These are the words of ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma in an interview with German magazine, Der Spiegel:
“Our media, which is very open and report on really everything, tend to exaggerate the crime issue. In other countries, newspapers and broadcast stations are patriotic and are far less interested in things that could damage their countries’ reputations in the world. This is why one gets the impression that we have much more crime than other countries. In our case the media goes too far when it comes to openness. Of course, it would be even better if the media would report this openly in all countries, but unfortunately that isn’t the case.”
There you have a near-official version of the crime situation in South Africa. The reason why everybody thinks we have severe crime, is only because of the unpatriotic (irresponsible) media that exaggerate the crime situation.

Sorry, mister Zuma. You have it wrong. Not just a little wrong – totally wrong. Just as the value of showers is at times exaggerated, so is your version of the crime situation.
The media have a duty to report what is happening in the community – the entire community. If they report that the vice-president has unprotected sex , but showers adterwards, that is factual. Is it wrong to report? no. Nor at all. Just make sure there is nothing negative to report.

But for the person who was the second most powerful person in the country to state openly to a German magazine that our media are unpatriotic and too free is terrible. It is a typical “shower” attitude.

What about an alternative? On Table Mountain two people were stabbed by two men armed with knives. Do you have a solution to that? We have. You get a suitably large contingent of soldiers and put them on and around Table Mountain. Fully armed soldiers. Add some good detectives and trackers. And hunt them down.

You’ll be surprised to see how many other undesirable characters you also flush out. Yes, they are not going to vote for you if you are responsible for catching them. But the, they should not be able to vote in the first place.

The media irresponsible? Unpatriotic? No. On the contrary. By wishing to curtail their activities you are unpatriotic.

Why do media report on crime? Because it is rife in our communitiy. And nothing worthwhile is being done about it. And there is only one body which has the power to do something about it. That is Unpatriotic.

So you want more proof?

Zuma says the government is doing a lot about security. “We cooperate closely with private companies and with citizens, who organize security on their streets themselves.”
But why do we have such a big government if ordinary people have to organise security on the streets?

The government is simply denying its responsibility to keep people safe – and that is a constitutional obligation.

How about another irresponsible statement?

“Criminality is always the result of poverty. Countries that experience such a fundamental change as we have — we had the apartheid regime and must now develop a multicultural democracy — must necessarily pass through a phase of high crime rates.”

OK, criminals, it is ok. You just carry on committing crimes. The once second most powerful person in the country and a person who is expected to be one of the frontrunners for Mr. Thabo Mbeki’s pos once he finishes his tenure, says it is ok and only to be expected. Actully, it is a necessity. So you just carry on.

We don’t even spend the allocated money on building prisons, otherwise the criminals could be kept from doing their patriotic duty!

(For full article see:
http://www.spiegel.de:80/international/spiegel/0,1518,455681,00.html )

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