Media vie for space at Zuma trial

2008-08-03 00:00

Journalists, including international media, were jostling for accreditation last night ahead of ANC president Jacob Zuma’s court appearance today.

They panicked after hearing that only 20 seats were reserved for the media, while 80 seats were set aside for public. These will include senior members of the government, family members and close supporters of Zuma.

Most disappointed were the international media after being told that only three seats could be reserved for them. Eventually, Lazarus Mothupi from the Justice Department said he would see what he could do for foreign reporters.

Fran Blandy from Agence France Presse was lucky to have her name on the list. She said the French are interested in SA politics. “They want to know what is going to happen after next year’s general election, and what impact the case will have,” said Blandy.

Claude Colart for the Al Jazeera English TV channel said: “South Africa in the most important country in the continent, which makes Zuma’s case an important one”.

Journalists vented their frustration as they waited from 4 pm for accreditation. The 20 accredited media received cards after 6 pm. Others who have permission to work in the vicinity of the court were told to arrive at 7 am today to collect accreditation.

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