#VBSBankHeist, #OmotosoTrial dominate SA media

2018-10-19 18:56
Cheryl Zondi, 22, testifies during the trial against controversial Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his co-accused Zukiswa Sitho and Lusanda Sulani at the Port Elizabeth High Court on 10 October 2018.

Cheryl Zondi, 22, testifies during the trial against controversial Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his co-accused Zukiswa Sitho and Lusanda Sulani at the Port Elizabeth High Court on 10 October 2018.

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The #VBSBankHeist and the #OmotosoTrial dominated South Africa's media landscape this week, according to the latest analysis by Acumen Media.

The #VBSBankHeist was mentioned in more than a third (37.4%) of all media content (209.5K results) that Acumen Media analysed.

It also "gained a huge traction on social media", according to the report, released on Friday.

The second most popular media story this week was the #OmotosoTrial, followed by the phrase "SARS", propelled by a bizarre interview that went viral, featuring SARS IT chief Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane.

Read: Sars inquiry hears how exposed one of SA’s most important IT systems is

"We laughed (and cried) at the state of #SARS and the television interview of Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane [that] left social media with #ProtectMeFromYourself, and the memes started to flourish," the report read.

The top 10 media stories or phrases after VBS and the Omotoso trial, in order of prominence, were the SARS and state capture inquiries, "weed legalised", Tito Mboweni, Gigaba vs Tlhabi, Nene, Coligny and "Take the Tax Back".

While VBS drew top coverage for the second week, the story garnered 34% less attention than it did last week.

The story with the biggest rise in attention this week was the Coligny case (+24.6K%), followed by "weed legalised" (+21.1K%) and the Omotoso trial (+1.1K%).

Public opinion and sentiment towards the top media stories have varied.

While the VBS bank heist was at the lowest position in terms of favourable public opinion, it was the Coligny story which received the most negative sentiment this week.

According to Acumen media, the Coligny case received 309.6% more negative comments than it did last week, tripling from the previous week.

Read more: 2 farm workers found guilty of murdering Coligny teen

Public opinion seemed to warm up for former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. He resigned from his position last week following his testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry.

The report found that favourable public opinion towards Nene rose significantly (+53.7%) this week, far ahead of current Finance Minister Tito Mboweni (+27.1%).

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