Du Preez ‘personal attack on Zuma racist’

2014-12-31 08:00

The presidency has called an opinion piece by columnist Max du Preez about President Jacob Zuma racist and mind-boggling.

"The piece smacks of prejudice and racism given the manner in which Mr du Preez describes the president," said the presidency yesterday.

"The presidency is alarmed by the personal attack on President Jacob Zuma."

In an article published by Independent Newspapers, titled "Zuma - SA's one-man wrecking ball", Du Preez says the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and the Hawks were the "latest victims" of Zuma's "demolition of democracy".

"The devastation caused by... Zuma will take years to rebuild, even if he were to leave office tomorrow."

Du Preez offers his analysis of the political machinations he believes are behind the appointment of Tom Moyane as Sars commissioner in September, and the suspension earlier this month of Hawks head Anwa Dramat.

Calling the article, a "mind-boggling opinion piece", the presidency said when disciplinary action was taken against public servants it would have nothing to do with Zuma.

"The knee jerk reaction of blaming the president for everything that happens in institutions without any attempt to verify the information indicates lazy and mischievous journalism," it said.

The presidency took exception to a reference Du Preez makes to Zuma's "corrupt relationship (in the words of a judge) with his financial adviser".

The presidency said the remark in question -- when Judge Hilary Squires was reported by the media to have said Zuma had a "generally corrupt relationship" with convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik -- had already been refuted. In November 2006, Squires wrote to Business Day indicating he never uttered those words.

The presidency said that neither Independent Newspapers nor Du Preez had given it an opportunity to respond to the "serious allegations" against Zuma.

"This failure to observe such a basic tenet of the journalism trade is disturbing as it is becoming a trend in some sections of the media."

Responding to the presidency's statement, Du Preez told Sapa: "My only comment is that my column was an opinion piece, not reportage."

In a tweet he said: "I'm a liar and a racist. Shame on me", along with a link to the presidency's statement online.

Independent Media said it noted the presidency's comments.

"Columns and opinion pieces are covered in the press code under comment and the practice is that newspapers are not required to seek a response to comment pieces as long as it passes the test of fair comment," said the media group.

"We stand by Mr Du Preez and his and our independence in this regard."

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
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 24.com 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.