Sexwale story sign of Twitter times

2013-02-11 16:47

Cape Town - Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale's confirmation of his divorce showed again that the advent of social media was blurring the line between the private and the public, media commentators said on Monday.

Veteran media analyst Chris Moerdyk said the Sunday Times story on the Sexwale's divorce, which followed intense speculation on Twitter, proved that the information chain had changed forever and rumour had become more powerful than ever.

"Any form of celebrity will tell you that it has become nigh impossible to keep anything private. The thing is that with Facebook and particularly Twitter, nobody has to be absolutely sure of their facts," he said.

Media academic Anton Harber said Twitter and Facebook were eroding privacy, but on the positive side the proliferation of social media also meant that it had become harder to keep anything of public interest quiet.

"Social media does mean that there is much less control over the flow of information and that people can push things into the public arena.

It had become much harder for people to control and to contain personal information, for better or for worse.

"I say for better because stories of public interest have become much harder to suppress, and I say for worse because it can be very intrusive into private space."

Harber said in this instance he believed that there was an argument to be made that the story of a senior politician's divorce was in the public interest.

On Friday, newspapers published stories on the divorce without naming the couple.

The South African Divorce Act restricts publication of anything other than the names of the parties to a divorce and the court order made in the case.

But the Sunday Times published statements by the lawyers acting for both Sexwale and his wife of 20 years, Judy, in the acrimonious break-up.

In an editorial note, the weekly said it believed publishing the names of the couple along with their allegations was justified because the minister had wanted to go public.

Moerdyk noted that people were mistaken to think that they could set the record straight in a dispute by stating their side of the story in public.

Sexwale, via his lawyer, denied his wife's claims that he had emotionally and physically abused her.

"People go public because they think the facts will speak for themselves. But it is a no-win situation. In fact it is all about perception and people will take sides," Moerdyk said.

"Here you have all sorts of elements that will prompt people to do that. There is a man people see as powerful and woman they will see as vulnerable."

Divided sympathy

Comments on internet news sites on Monday suggested that the Sexwale's divorce gripped the public and that sympathies were indeed divided.

Some commentators on the Sowetan's website said they felt for the minister because the couple had been married in community of property, others weighed in that his wife deserved a big settlement for having supported him in the early days of the marriage when "Tokyo had nothing".

Both Harber and Moerdyk said the conventional mass media would have to adapt to the fact that its role had been usurped by more immediate forms of media that were not bound to the same rules.

"The mass media no longer controls the news agenda as much as they did in the past," Harber said.

Moerdyk said social media had managed to become an instant news source of choice for the younger generation.

"Newspapers have for a long time complained that they found it hard to have a readership among the youth. You will find that young people do not read newspapers or listen to the radio, but they are very well informed because they are communicating with 500 people all around the world on websites."

He said Twitter was a handy tool both for journalists who wanted to draw readers to their stories - and for whistleblowers looking for a forum - but unfortunately often meant that context and background were over-looked if followers looked no further than the tweet.

"Newspapers and news agencies have a tremendously important role to play in providing the whole story and the perspective."

  • bafana.ndlovu.9026 - 2013-02-11 16:57

    Where do I subscribe to twitter news?

      gary.desousa.5 - 2013-02-11 17:11

      Just do a sheik to the left and mac to the right and you will twitter all over.

      bafana.ndlovu.9026 - 2013-02-11 17:29

      Where is the sheik button?

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2013-02-11 17:50

      Gary you are a witty twittie and Bavana you are sharp! Lol funny people

      deirdre.stier - 2013-02-11 17:53

      How did Twitter and FB find out? If he has been abusing her I hope she nails him in court, he was once the most handsome man in SA sies kyk hoe lyk jy nou!

  • phill.sarefa - 2013-02-11 17:06

    These two adults are bad role models. How do you divorce after you have been together for so many years? I mean they have shared so many problems, successes and disapppintments and when they are old they think of divorce. Well, De Klerk did it, Mandela did it, Zuma did it and why can't they "did it"? Only that our moral fibre will suffer. Give me Thabo Mbeki any day I will say he is the best thing to come out of Africa - the best leader ever, the best role model ever, and the most intelligent leader ever.

      Fezile Ntontela - 2013-02-11 17:33

      maybe Tokyo wanted a second wife and the lady said no..

      beverly.young3 - 2013-02-11 17:51

      @Fezile Ntontela, Judy is his second wife. As I said ina previous posting, divorce is all about money.

      dmvilane - 2013-02-11 17:54

      I disagree Mbeki was not a good role Model....he doesn't have a child for godsake

      sango.jika - 2013-02-11 18:05

      I have to agree with you Mr Thabo Mbeki is indeed a good role model i look up to that man myself.

      matome.naphtaly - 2013-02-11 18:18


      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-02-11 18:42

      dmvilane Mbeki's son (from a relationship in his teens) was killed trying to flee the country. I don't understand why you use his not having a child as a bad role model

      buti.lembe - 2013-02-11 18:43

      May be the main switch is always off for Mr T.

      maria.roth.589 - 2013-02-11 19:49

      Mbeki was hardly the leader of the century.I know he drank as much as Winston Churchill but he couldn't hold a candle to him in any other respect. The world has had wonderful leaders of which Thabo Mbeki was not one. You forget the aids fiasco. My one over riding memory of Tokyo Sexwale is seeing him running backwards, waving his arms around,wittering on about the cheek of the DA over something or other. Trying to put his point across to a Sunday Times reporter who was striding purposely forward and ignoring him. While one of the ANC spin doctors stood to one side hiding his face in embarrassment. I am not surprised to hear he abused his wife any body who is so insistent must be hell to live with.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-02-11 20:35

      It does not matter what people think of him, Thabo Mbeki ranks amongst the greatest statesman in history. Mbeki gets top African honour Fri, 09 Nov 2012 4:54 PM Source: Former president Thabo Mbeki has been named the Daily Trust African of the Year for his work in preventing conflict in Sudan. Daily Trust advisory board chairman Salim Ahmed Salim said in a statement on Friday that Mbeki was honoured on Thursday night. "Normally, when we as an advisory panel choose the African of the Year, we look for an ordinary African doing extraordinary things," he said. Some of you who are having a field will never even come close to doing half the things he did. And nobody's perfect by the way. Neither are any of you

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-02-11 20:42

      Mbeki was aptly named the "African of the year." Mbeki gets top African honour Fri, 09 Nov 2012 4:54 PM Former president Thabo Mbeki has been named the Daily Trust African of the Year for his work in preventing conflict in Sudan. Daily Trust advisory board chairman Salim Ahmed Salim said in a statement on Friday that Mbeki was honoured on Thursday night...." Like him or hate him, but most of you who are busy spitting venom will never achieve even a quarter of what he did in your lifetimes, even if if you were to rise from the dead and live again after death.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-02-11 23:53

      Themba, Well, I most certainly hope, I will never be resposible for even one quarter of the death , this man is responsible for. Thousands of aids sufferers!!! All , because of his pseudo intelluctual half baked aids bullsh.t!! He belongs to be send to the ICC!!!!!

  • gisela.weinmann.7 - 2013-02-11 17:12

    If you are in governent & politics, you should never be in business with government as well.As it looks mightily suspicious.

  • jenny.nel.100 - 2013-02-11 17:21

    The Sexwale's private business is private as long as the millions that are being haggled about, are not public funds. I have an idea that it may just be so, but who can prove anything? Divorce is a nasty business n anybody' s book. It's always sad when a marriage ends.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-02-11 17:32

    . 'government minister' and 'billionaire' were not the key words, it was about Tokyo Sexwale 'government minister' and 'violence' were Sexwale=======gaddafi of the South !!!!

  • - 2013-02-11 17:41

    There was 'Wale' in the marriage. The first three letters were missing.

  • logical007 - 2013-02-11 18:13

    Ask the first wife if there was abuse verbally, physically or mentally? if so, then more than likely it would happen again in second marriage. But, saying that, Judy stayed with Tokyo for 20 yrs, reaping the benefits of a great life, never once reporting him to the police for abuse or getting an order for him to stay away from her and the kids - so how bad was the 'abuse' Or is this just a case of divorce because 'I'm not happy' and "WOMAN ABUSE IS A TOPIC AT THE MOMENT" so lets make money???? please ladies lets not abuse men!

  • jones.mosima - 2013-02-11 18:25

    Can anyone explain to me here(I'm lost), why is it that during a divorce, only women must come with their demands for a divorce settlement. What about we Man?.. Well as for Bra. Sex-Wale,he deserves every single bit of it, I hope the wife also demands for all his houses to be given to her,So this Bl....dy agent can feel how those Lenasia ppl were feeling when they had their lavish houses demolished. I min the guy was so happy abt the whole Lenasia phenomenon. Well After all I think the guy knows how to settle things, Minister of ah ah ah Settlement. Cum on!!!!!! 2lt Dr. Mo J. Thanks.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-02-11 18:43

      It depends on who has more Randelas, and in most cases it is the man. Otherwise men are also entitled to claim support and other wonderful things from their rich wives

  • - 2013-02-11 18:32

    They met when Tokyo was on Robbin Island. When they got married, they had nothing. Why would anyone leave a life of luxury after all these years, with your clothes in plastic bags? Tokyo is still staying in their mansions in Jhb and Cape Town, flying all over the country, to their wine farm and to his pvt island in Mozambique with their pvt jet while Judy is staying in a 2 bedroom rented flat, driving around in a small rented car. Where does the model Nataxa da Silva fit in and what goes on in that pvt room at Shimny's club in Cape Town..? Judy lives for her children. Judy you are married in community of property, Tokyo is a are asking for peanuts after 20years of married life. At least you are not in denial anymore because one can only take so much abuse. He had nothing when you met him. Only a coward beats women!!! He is no warrior and never was! He wont "hurt a fly", he swats them. Guess one can only "pay-off" so many people hey?

      jones.mosima - 2013-02-11 18:57

      Well now it makes sense. Mmmh Tokyo must pay out. The lady deserves it. - 2013-02-11 19:03

      I like your comment Mr Bentley (obviously rich judging from your name), but I feel an emotion in it that you feel like you are talking to Judy on a one on one with a view to ameliorate he travail. You are right, she deserves half or more, but on a light note I feel you could even toyi toyi at Tokyo's office for Judy. But wait..without judging, maybe we haven't heard all the facts yet to come to a swift conclusion about abuses and all. Any lady filing for divorce usually never leaves that trump card out.

      german.mazokera - 2013-02-11 19:16 need to have been in love to know that love has nothing to do with wealth or richness thats why they got married in the first place and thats the reason she left everything and took her love back. I salute her she got love not greed

      mike.hoffmann.334 - 2013-02-12 06:20

      Thanks to BEE affirmative action and the gravy train she will never look back. The rainbow is and will remain a pipe dream.

  • anton.cloete.71 - 2013-02-11 19:57

    You want to sleep with the madam, you have to pay the madam!

  • abner.mophethe - 2013-02-11 20:03


  • slikhethe33 - 2013-02-11 21:38

    Sleeping with the enemy.

      richard.young.1253236 - 2013-02-12 08:20

      Sleeping with Dingaan.

  • garth.bellingan.1 - 2013-02-11 22:09

    Oil and Water dont mix. Period,

  • moafrica.waazania - 2013-02-13 09:52

    Once in social networks, privacy is traded off. T Sexwale was proper to confirm as stories suppass supression of info.

  • Aphista Mataboge - 2013-05-06 09:00

    Having read the Sunday Times 05/05/2013, I want to say Judy stand tall girl. You deserve better. You are entitled to half of what you put in that marriage. Toyko had nothing when you married and when he made money had thought he could treat you like that. Hold you head high girl. Should not have allowed such abuse. I am wondering what the ANC and the Women's league have to say to all this. Disgusting of his leadership. Toyko you need to know how to treat a wife. Good riddens. He is not even ashamed to tell us about the 20year old Nataxa. Where did he meet a university student.

  • pages:
  • 1