Govt upset with TV coverage of Malindi

By Drum Digital
24 May 2012

Government spokesman Jimmy Manyi said he was "appalled" and "disappointed" that e.tv had censured visuals of President Jacob Zuma's lawyer, advocate Gcina Malindi, breaking down in the Johannesburg High court on Thursday.

However Judge Neels Claassen ruled that the television footage of the ANC's lawyer breaking down may not be televised.

"Before we postpone the matter there is another thing that has to be dealt with," said Judge Neels Claassen.

"It had been brought to the court's notice that the portion where the ANC and Zuma's advocate Gcina Malindi broke down had been televised.

"And as a full court we are of the view that that should not be further televised," he said.

That would apply both locally and internally.

Malindi broke down when he was arguing, on behalf of the president, to have the painting "The Spear" removed from exhibition at the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank.

The work by Cape Town-based artist Brett Murray has outraged many South Africans who feel it disrespects the president's personal dignity.

It shows him posing like Lenin with his genitals exposed.

"The role of the media, with particular reference to television, is to show visuals that inform and educate society," Manyi said.

"Government believes that, in this particular instance, e.tv was biased and failed to broadcast a true reflection of the court proceedings."

Manyi said Malindi broke down in tears after judges questioned his legal arguments.

"e.tv censured the visuals that would have shown his deep pain and emotion, that expressed the culmination of the sentiment of humiliation and denigration of the dignity of President Jacob Zuma, his office and the African culture that is shared by millions of South Africans."

Adriaan Basson, assistant editor of City Press, who was in court sitting close to Malindi tweeted: " It happened right in front of me. It was raw, deep pain and emotion."

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