No media favoured: ANC

2014-03-08 07:29


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Pretoria - The ANC on Friday rejected reports that President Jacob Zuma's bodyguards favoured broadcast journalists over print-media reporters during door-to-door visits in townships near Pretoria.

Print reporters were stopped by Zuma's bodyguards from entering houses during the election campaign tour through Soshanguve, Mabopane and Ga-Rankuwa.

"It was just a minor problem where journalists were restricted," African National Congress spokesman Keith Khoza told Sapa.

While it was easy to identify broadcast journalists because they were carrying cameras, it was difficult to distinguish print-media reporters with notepads from members of the public.

Security personnel on Friday barred reporters with iPads and notepads, but allowed those with cameras, who arrived later, into residents' homes to listen to the president.

Khoza said the misunderstanding could also be attributed to the fact that there was no accreditation for the event.

When there were large crowds of people trying to get close to the president, bodyguards pushed them away.

"It was not specifically targeted at the media, but it just happened that the media were affected," he said.

Zuma spent several hours in the townships around Tshwane - campaigning ahead of the 7 May general elections - where he listened to residents problems and demands.

In Soshanguve, residents appealed to him to help them fix their leaking roofs.

Roof is leaking

Mavies Magopya, 68, said she had told Zuma about her leaking home.

"I told him that my house is leaking. When it rains, I'm forced to sleep with my grandchildren in one room," she said.

Zuma had promised that he would fix her roof.

Resident Johannes Maredi started crying as he told Zuma about a big storm that had wreaked havoc in the area last year.

"Every time we see rain clouds, we get scared that our windows and roofs are going to break like last year. We have to use buckets to ensure our belongings don't get wet," he said.

Zuma told him that within seven days, residents would be helped.

Earlier in the morning, a group of angry residents of Soshanguve Block G hoisted aloft banners and posters expressing their dissatisfaction with their local councillor.

As Zuma's convoy passed, they started singing and dancing.

Residents accused councillor Dolly Ledwaba of not doing anything to help those with problems.

"When we told her we did not have water, she told us she is not the office and does not open taps," said one resident.

Zuma is King

Resident Dimakatso Mogotsi said the councillor removed those she did not agree with from the local ANC branch.

"She calls the branch her ANC. If you don't agree with her, she removes you," she said.

While in Mabopane, Zuma gave an elderly man R1 000 to buy groceries.

"He is a king, you can't touch him," Ezekiel Senyolo said afterwards.

"He gave me money to buy groceries and eat."

Senyolo, who lives alone in his asbestos shack, asked Zuma to help residents get piped water and flushing toilets.

Merriam Dlamini, who lives in a house with 13 others, asked for a job.

"All I want is a toilet, and a job to be able to provide for my family."

She said Zuma had promised to develop the area. Many of the streets were not tarred and some houses did not have taps.

Zuma ended his visit with a mini rally in Ga-Rankuwa.

DA dreaming

He told hundreds of supporters at the event that Gauteng province was going to remain in the grasp of the ANC.

"Those who say Gauteng is going to be taken by some other party are dreaming," he said.

He said May 7 was the day the party would show its power.

"[The] ANC is different from other parties. We are powerful. It was only us who could defeat apartheid. It's only us who can make South Africa a better place.

"We have a plan to change the quality of life of our people. No one has a plan except us, therefore we deserve a two-thirds majority," he said.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  elections 2014  |  anc  |  politics

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