News24

Zuma's media attack 'outrageous'

2010-02-04 07:15

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's criticism of media reports about his love child are "outrageous", the Press Council of SA said on Wednesday.

To suggest that by carrying out its public duty it was, as Zuma put it, questioning the baby's right to exist, was an "unwarranted attack" on the press, the council's chairperson Raymond Louw said in a statement.

"One cannot conceive any such inferences being drawn from what has been published or broadcast by the media about this matter."

Louw was responding to a statement issued by Zuma earlier on Wednesday, in which he acknowledged fathering a baby girl with Sonono Khoza, daughter of soccer boss Irvin Khoza, following a report in the Sunday Times.

While Zuma said he respected and upheld the freedom of the media, his concepts of media freedom were wildly at variance with practises in democratic countries throughout the world, Louw said.

He urged Zuma to take his "serious accusations" to the Press Ombudsman or Broadcasting Complaints Commission.

In his statement, Zuma argued that naming the child's parents would have serious long-term implications for the girl.

It amounted to exploitation under the Child Care Act and Children's Act, as the media was making money from its reports.