Ricochet News

“Zuma cannot blame media for xenophobia” - COPE

“Zuma cannot blame media for xenophobia” - COPE

Congress of the People (Cope) Spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, has said that President Jacob Zuma’s criticism of the way the media reports on the spate of xenophobic violence is not surprising, and that “sunshine journalism will only keep us ignorant and apathetic”.

His comment’s cover after Zuma accused the Sunday Times of making the country look bad when it published a series of pictures of Mozambican national, Emmanuel Sithole, being attacked in Alexandra on its cover with one of his attackers brandishing a knife in clear view of the camera.

The 35-year old died shortly after the attack while his four alleged killers, appeared in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court yesterday on charges of murder and robbery. His death brings the number of foreigners killed since the violence broke out three weeks ago to seven.

“To make the media into a scapegoat is a ruse to escape his culpability. The media confronted us squarely and directly with our national shame,” Bloem said in a statement.

“The media compelled government to acknowledge that it was witnessing xenophobia and afrophobia, not just criminality by transgressors of the law as it has been vainly trying to claim. It shocked the nation into admission of the truth and galvanised it into action”.

Bloem stated that patriotism requires the truth to be told and that the media’s coverage of events “destroyed the pretence that xenophobia and afrophobia did not exist in our country”.

“In as much as the President wishes he were a dictator, fortunately for us he cannot be. He must uphold the constitution and seek to do the hard yards before looking for acknowledgement and a pat on the back.

“The media did sterling work in confronting us with our ignorance, our hatred and our penchant for brutish violence. Unfortunately, no attempt to hide or sanitise what happened would have had any effect. Government now needs to undertake the transformation that was promised to make a better life for all possible but which stalled and lost momentum,” he said.


IMAGE sourced from dailymail.co.uk