SABC denies using the Z-word

2010-09-13 22:46

Johannesburg - The SABC has denied mentioning President Jacob Zuma in a news item about ANC Youth League president Julius Malema espousing the virtues of monogamy.

"We have gone through all the clips around that story and we can clearly say that there is nowhere in all the clips - both radio and television - where we have said that whatever Julius Malema was saying was in reference to Jacob Zuma," SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said on Monday.

"We also would welcome an engagement with the ANC Youth League so that we can get to the bottom of this," he said.

At a rally in Heilbron on Sunday, Malema recommended that leaders have only one marriage partner, and that people not married yet, have only one boyfriend or girlfriend.

In a statement issued late on Sunday night, the ANCYL accused the broadcaster of distorting the message by suggesting that Malema was referring to Zuma, who is in a polygamous marriage with three women.

Zuma has also recently had to weather a storm over the birth of a child to a woman to whom he is not married.

He has also been acquitted of raping a woman who said she was a friend of the family. He said he had consensual sex.

Scathing attack

In the statement, ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said Malema had been reaffirming the youth wing's policy of 'One Boyfriend, One Girlfriend' at the Free State rally, which was televised by the SABC.

The policy was aimed at "discoursing" multiple sexual partners among youth, he said.

On its website, the SABC said Malema had launched a "scathing attack on nameless ANC leaders".

"He (Malema) says leaders cannot afford to have many wives, saying leaders with multiple partners will die soon," the SABC said in its report.

The league felt this was a distortion of what Malema was saying.

"For reasons not known to us, the SABC's capturing of the message sought to suggest that (the) ANC Youth League president is making reference to the ANC president in the message he delivered," it said in its statement.

"The ANC Youth League places it on record that president Julius Malema never made any reference to the state president and will never discuss personal matters of the ANC president in public.

"The SABC however chose to spitefully and maliciously distort the essence of the message of ANC Youth League as part of the media’s mischievous programme to drive an acrimonious wedge between ANCYL president and ANC president."