No amount of champagne, cakes or booze-fuelled parties can mask the reality of the what the ANC has become.
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full and final history of the rise and fall of Jacob Zuma and his empire is
written one day, the names of Karima Brown and Ranjeni Munusamy will feature
prominently under the chapter on journalists.
very senior colleagues in the floundering South African media landscape, and
both were at different times of their careers too close to Zuma.
received serious body blows to their journalistic integrity last week and face
an uphill battle to return to the newsroom with their reputations intact.
found by an independent panel appointed by Primedia to have contravened the
Broadcasting Complaints Commission's code of conduct for journalists during her
now-defunct talk show on Talk Radio 702.
READ: Sanef invites submissions for inquiry into media credibility and ethics
the station manager of editorial interference when asked to offer a right of
reply to individuals mentioned on air during a discussion on the Competition
Commission's ruling against MultiChoice.
Terry Motau SC, who chaired the panel, found there was absolutely no proof of
editorial interference and that she herself was in the wrong on and off air.
implicated at the Zondo commission into state capture, which she has ironically
covered excellently for the Sunday Times for months, for allegedly
receiving money from a crime intelligence slush-fund into her vehicle loan
denied the allegation and will provide her own version of events to the
commission in due course. The Sunday Times and its owners have since
decided to place her on special leave.
devastating events at a time when the South African media fraternity needs to
build, not undermine, our credibility and trust. It goes far wider than media
industry gossip because it undermines all of us who are proud to call ourselves
the headwinds of fake news, digital advertising skipping the country to
Facebook and Google and the collapse of editorial standards and integrity at
Independent Media under the ownership of the narcissistic Iqbal Survé, the last thing our media now needs are more scandals that
undermine the standing of senior journalists like Brown and Munusamy.
was appointed by the former Primedia CEO Roger Jardine himself before her show
was canned earlier this year because of low listener numbers, has a bad
reputation in the media industry for ingratiating herself with political
factions and for turning her coat as the wind blows.
who covered the pre-Polokwane ANC leadership race remember vividly how she
punted Zuma's cause in Business Day, where she was political editor. It
came as no surprise when she was appointed deputy editor of The New Age
newspaper, owned by the Gupta family, in 2010.
roundly viewed as a pro-Zuma journalist and fitted the bill, until she and
fellow colleagues had a fallout with the owners.
she moved to Independent Media, where she was appointed group executive editor
in 2013. She was effectively editor-of-editors in the group, which was unusual
for newspaper editors who usually have final say over the content and tone of
had a fallout with Survé, Brown was his trusted ally in
"turning around" the largest owner of English language newspapers in
the country. This included apologising to Zuma for a column written by Max du
Preez in the group's newspapers, which led to Du Preez's resignation.
Brown attended the ANC's January 8 rally in Cape Town, dressed in ANC regalia.
She saw no problem in openly displaying her affiliation to a political party
whilst occupying one of the most senior editorial positions in the country.
like many other journalists, Brown has a history as a journalist who supported
the ANC's liberation struggle against apartheid pre-1994, but unlike her
colleagues she struggled to shed her political associations working as a
made a spectacular comeback to journalism via the Daily Maverick after
she was fired by the Sunday Times in the early 2000s for taking a false
story they had refused to publish to their competitor, City Press.
spent a number of years in journalism exile, working as a communications
consultant for Zuma ahead of his Polokwane campaign. It was in this capacity in
2008 that she was allegedly paid by crime intelligence.
In 2012, she
explained in Daily Maverick why she supported Zuma for many years and
became one of his fiercest critics as chief political writer for the title.
There was broad agreement in the journalistic fraternity that she had
"rehabilitated" herself through apologising for her pro-Zuma biases
and delivering superb work criticising the Zuma administration at Daily
Maverick and later the Sunday Times.
It would be
a great shame if proven that she was on the payroll of an intelligence agency
and didn't declare this during her 2012 mea culpa.
It was a
dark week for South African journalism at a time when we should be obsessed
with rebuilding trust with you, the reading public.
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