Newspapers defy Nkandla pictures order

2013-11-22 10:20
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Pictures the state doesn't want you to see

Ministers in the security cluster have said South African media should stop publishing images of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home. See the pictures here.

Cape Town - National newspapers published photographs of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead on Friday, despite a warning that it is illegal to do so.

On Thursday, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele said Zuma's KwaZulu-Natal residence was considered a national key point, and warned the media that the publication of pictures of upgrades was a security breach under the National Key Points Act.

"It is important that also to just send a caution that we have got laws - yes, some of them we will have to amend - but the continuing of flaunting of these pictures in a place which has been declared by the minister of police as a national key point is also not correct. It is a breach of law," Sapa quoted him as saying.


Cwele was addressing a post-Cabinet briefing where Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's provisional report into the security upgrades to Zuma's residence was discussed.

"At this stage we are just appealing. We are appealing to the South African public. It is not done anywhere, no country does this. We have not seen the images of the White House showing where the security features are. It is not done in any democracy, in any country... Let's respect the laws at the moment. We are not supposed to do what we are seeing in the media at this stage," Cwele said.

However, the SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) announced on Thursday that the media will continue to publish pictures of Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

"We firmly believe there is immense public interest in doing so," Sanef said, pointing out that the purpose of the act is to protect security measures from national key points from being revealed, and it would not undermine Zuma's security by publishing pictures.

"In this case, it unfortunately seems that the ministers are using security laws to avoid accounting to the public on the Nkandla upgrades," Sanef said.

Photographs of other national key points, such as Parliament and the Union Buildings, are published regularly, Sanef pointed out.


Newspapers defied Cwele's warning, publishing images of Nkandla on their front pages. "Look Away" What ministers don't want you to see" was The Star's headline, while The Times defiantly stated: "So, arrest us". The Cape Times displayed "The picture the state does not want you to see" and The Cape Argus ran a similar headline over a picture of Zuma's homestead. Afrikaans newspapers also ran similar headlines, with Die Burger stating: "Dit mag jy NIE sien nie" and Beeld proudly displaying "Die verbode foto".

Social media users also responded to Cwele's warning, with many updating their Facebook cover photos to display an image of Zuma's Nkandla residence. Twitter users also responded, with activist Zackie Achmat saying: "Break unjust laws. Share #Nkandla photo." Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos tweeted that "if it's illegal to publish pictures of Nkandla, the live broadcast of opening of Parliament.. will have to be banned".

Meanwhile, writer Tom Eaton tweeted: "Poor Zuma. No more wide-angle selfies on his stoep at #Nkandla."

Read more on:    sanef  |  jacob zuma  |  siyabonga cwele  |  security  |  nkandla upgrade  |  government spending

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

24 hour sale – Up to 70% off

Its black Friday, save up to 70% on a wide range of awesome products at Offers valid while stocks last. T&C’s apply. Shop now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.