Dlamini-Zuma Takes Aim At SABC For Demeaning Reporting


African National Congress (ANC) presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma lambasted the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for its recent mistakes including calling her “mini-Zuma”.

NDZ – her campaign buzzname – was chief guest at an ANC Cadres Forum gathering in Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.

She took umbrage to the state broadcaster misspelling her name and referring to her as President Jacob Zuma’s ex wife. The SABC has since apologised.

“It is important for them (the media) to tell the truth. If they tell the truth and criticise us‚ we will listen.

“But if they don’t‚ we will not listen..” Dlamini-Zuma added that, “[w]e don’t say they must praise us‚ they must just report accurately‚ especially the SABC.

“The SABC is a public broadcaster and they have channels everybody can access.

“So they have a bigger responsibility to report accurately. I won’t go into their disrespectfulness. They apologised.

“I hope they don’t have to apologise a third time.”

Molifi Tshabalala, an independent political analyst, agrees with Dlamini-Zuma. “At first, the issue of the SABC referring to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as ‘Mini-Zuma’ came out as an error, sort of a typo, and the public broadcaster apologised for it.

“For it to be repeated, it raises some eyebrows as to whether it were indeed the error in the first place. The SABC management should act on this matter. Otherwise, the SABC would be viewed as being embedded in the ANC factionalism,” Tshabalala said. 

The SABC issued an apology after the ANC Women’s League had issued a strongly worded statement about what they call, “SABC TV news has degenerated into being a proponent of patriarchy and cheerleaders of male chauvinism.

“[It] has been co-opted by the advocates of patriarchy and cheerleaders of male chauvinism to run a malicious and barbaric agenda that is aimed at stripping off the dignity and identity of Cde Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

“[It] has lately been labelling Cde Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as “Mini-Zuma” and “Zuma ex-wife”, the league said in statement. 

Tshabalala disagrees with the league on stripping Dlamini-Zuma off her dignity by calling her Zuma’s ex.

“As for Dlamini-Zuma being referred to as former President Jacob Zuma’s wife, there is nothing wrong about it, as she still carries her matrimonial surname herself. Implicitly, the ANCWL admits that Zuma’s surname weighs heavy on Dlamini-Zuma and impinge on her prospects of being ANC president and that of the country in 2019, provided that the ANC wins by a ground-holding majority.

“In reality, South Africans and the world at large would always know her as President Jacob Zuma’s ex wife. That is the fact of life that would not change just because the ANCWL wants to de-stigmatise herself from the surname, Zuma. The Zuma family, from the president himself to his sons, Duduzane and Edward, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, a bad publicity that weighs on the psyche of South Africans,” added Tshabalala.

Meanwhile, embattled ANC provincial chairman Sihle Zikalala‚ who also addressed the northern KZN crowd of NDZ supporters‚ criticised the SABC saying its reporting was the “worst backwardness” and called for action.

In reference to the recent Pietermaritzburg High court challenge led by Vryheid councillor Lawrence Dube who went to court in July last year asking for a rerun of the 2015 elective conference‚ Zikalala went on to say, “[t]he 2015 conference was requested by the very same people who are now saying it was unlawful.”

He also criticised ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe for asking for an explanation on why they don’t want to back deputy president Cyril Ramaposa as the next president‚ saying, “[w]e can’t have an SG of a mass democratic movement be one-sided‚ a leader must be open to listen to all opinions.”

Touching on the December elective conference‚ Dlamini-Zuma said she was hoping the fragmented ruling party would leave united after the new president is elected.

“As cadres we have the right to prefer this one or that one. But once that conference has elected the NEC from the president down‚ we will follow the NEC as cadres.”