News24

Media 'undermining' Zuma's rights

2010-06-04 14:57

Cape Town – The presidency on Friday accused the media of "undermining" President Jacob Zuma and his family's right to privacy and dignity.

"The presidency has noted with great concern reports that violate the privacy of President Jacob Zuma and his wife Mrs Nompumelelo Zuma, published in the media on June 3-4 2010," it said in a statement.

"The reports appear to be part of an ongoing and malicious campaign to undermine the right of the president and his family to privacy and dignity.

"President Zuma continues to be seized with matters of State and will not be diverted from his duties. He will not dignify such gossip with a response," the presidency said.

Earlier, a statement apparently issued by a "family spokesperson" said claims that one of Zuma's wives had an affair with a bodyguard did not come from his family.

Malicious reports

"The president's family is united in distancing itself from these malicious reports about the first lady Mama (Nompumelelo) MaNtuli," said "family spokesperson" Khulubuse Zuma.

"No member of the family could have been the source of this misinformation."

The statement was issued after Ilanga newspaper carried a story based on unconfirmed allegations contained in a letter sent to the newspaper.

According to the newspaper, the letter said MaNtuli, as she is known, had an affair with her bodyguard, Phinda Thomo from Dobsonville, Soweto, and that the paternity of her unborn child was being disputed.

The anonymous authors of the letter claimed Thomo took his own life when the affair was discovered.