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Motlanthe: Media, govt need mutual respect

2012-10-20 08:00

Magaliesburg - The government and media need to respect each other’s roles if they are to address South Africa's problems, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday.

'This understanding is critical if we are to establish and maintain a robust, participatory democracy in which all of us work together to build a better society and economy," Motlanthe said at the opening of a meeting between the government and SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) in Magaliesburg.

"We recognised that media freedom and access to information had to be secured alongside the responsibility of government to conduct its work transparently and to communicate with the public."

Motlanthe added that the government had a duty to ensure there was a diversity of opinion in public discourse and that no voice should go unheard.

'In an open democracy such as ours, these voices don’t have to be mutually agreeable and don’t have to agree with government."

However, Motlanthe argued that the media should help focus the nation’s attention on its goals and ambitions.

"Can we as government and the media jointly harness the nation's energy towards the achievement of our national goals, in the same way that we rallied our nation behind Bafana Bafana, Banyana Banyana, the Proteas or the Springboks?”

Motlanthe said South Africans and audiences abroad, including potential investors, learned about the country through the media. In the past it had told the world the “South African story”.

"It is a story that is jointly authored by government and the media, with government putting in place and communicating a broad range of policies and actions that the media in turn convey to the broader public."

Motlanthe noted that his remarks at the Sanef meeting came on the 35th anniversary of "Black Wednesday", 19 October, 1977, when the government shut down three newspapers deemed critical of the state.

He said the government and media were now able to meet "in the glare of a democratic sunshine'.

Sanef deputy chair Nic Dawes welcomed Motlanthe’s remarks and noted that they had much in common.

"I think it is a tribute to our democracy that we’ve come as far as we have," Dawes said.

Sanef still had some concerns with the government’s approach to the media, but believed these would be dealt with in future.

Dawes said the forum hoped the government would reconsider apartheid-era security laws that restricted the work of journalists.

Comments
  • Waterdrop - 2012-10-20 08:10

    I pretty much agree with Motlanthe. The media is a very valuable tool in a democracy to report on the function or dysfunction of government, but it's also totally unregulated as it probably should be. Still, the media often destroys peoples lives or make highly inaccurate reports with a single article and very little accountability. Even if found guilty they are forced to print a small apology that no one really reads. The media has a responsibility to show respect to those who it targets. As inept as government is, we all know that the media will do anything for a good story and are definitely not as objective as they'd want us to believe. The government does a lot of damage but the media also never recognizes their good deeds.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-10-20 08:20

      I agree with his sentiments, I simply dont believe he knows what he is talking about. Does that make sense? Speeches are written for these okes....some of them have been down our way preaching to the masses. Anyway, I agree with you, the media write what they like, and the government leave themselves wide open so that their weaknesses are a target. We have lost faith and hope hey?

      jack.russel.14268769 - 2012-10-20 08:22

      Stop corruption and looting, stop cadre deployment, stop threatning and killing farmers, stop with 18th centuary Mugabe mentality, stop destroying our education system, Stop giving SAA, Eskom, Denel, Transnet, SABC, etc. to the dumbest of the dumb. Then your on your way to your halfway point and we may just see you there

      grant.hide - 2012-10-20 09:11

      I agree, but then they need to respect the billions we send them every year too. Not just spend it blindingly fast on rubbish.

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-10-20 10:19

      Motlanthe, respect is earned not given. If you do not like the message the press sends out, then change your behaviour and the message will change. Stop corruption, stop cadre deployment, stop wasteful spending on "pork barrel" projects, act lawfully and with decorum and if your voted into power govern and show leadership.

      louis.olivier.988 - 2012-10-20 12:32

      Motlanthe, anc ring master and circus director,,, just FO

      christopher.laurenz.5 - 2012-10-20 12:50

      Must the media lie then?

      sani.ghana.3 - 2012-10-20 13:01

      These racist complaints must stop now there are many black africans who know their job and they not thugs they work hard for their families, there are also many whites who are good at their job, we are all in the same country with same problems, the good black and white africans must stand together against these corrupt criminal leaders, we must choose good strong leaders but we must never choose a colour.

      enlightened.bowman - 2012-10-20 18:55

      your proposal is, unfortunately the first step towards total press control. That is precisely what the ANC wants so, if the press misinforms hold them acountable for that particular incident bu to legislate it will simply accelerate or path towards a Castro style state

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-10-20 08:12

    You earn respect Mr Motlanthe, the ANC (including their thug YL) have done nothing for SA in the last 10 years, nothing but detruction, sorry, but when the ANC respects others & does the job they were elected to do, they can ask for respect, till then, they can go to hell!!

      mullerier - 2012-10-20 09:03

      Indeed Nigel, listening to this debate the past few months, I concluded, that the definition of respect is very much part of a person´s value system (a very subjective thing at best and closely linked to one´s cultural and social milieu )....Having said this, how to find a universal language in which to introduce healthy respectful debate is the first step. I certainly, do not have the answer...but I would respect the person\politician\industrialist\small business owner who could see this and in this civilized way command respect.....NOW THAT WOULD BE EARNING RESPECT!

      thulasizwe.mchunu - 2012-10-20 11:13

      u are talking nonsense, there ANC is still undoing the demages done by the apartheid regime. in the History of SA NO GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ABLE TO PROVIDE DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM OF SPEECH EXCEPT FOR THE ANC GOV...by the realist nd non-hater

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-20 11:27

      thulasizwe.mchunu You represent all that is wrong with this countries people...you are stubborn filled with hatred,oblivious to facts on the ground,unable to overcome your blinkered thinking,shortly I run out of words except to say you are an uniformed and slow minded ..you disgust me..you should get what you deserve!

      james.hurley.1401 - 2012-10-20 13:38

      @Dunkie - then take your bigoted Ukranian mail-order bride and leave. I saw the 'viva de la rey' she posted to Facebook, I guess she learned her hero-worship of Afrikaans racists from you. @ Thula - the ANC is not providing freedom of speech. Not only did it pass the notorious 'Secrecy Bill', Zuma has also taken cartoonists to court. You can't make such a claim.

  • olebogeng.diratsagae - 2012-10-20 08:20

    u talk sense man!!!

  • patrick.mettle.7 - 2012-10-20 08:24

    How about starting the process of giving back respectibilty to the ANC and run against Zuma. Stand up and be counted instead of following. SA needs a hero and many think its you. Run, win and clean house. SA can't afford another 4 years of Zuma's middle finger or any more wives.

      matthew.patrick.925 - 2012-10-20 09:37

      Although I don't think that Motlanthe will add much more value as a leader than Zuma it'll at least keep Zuma on his toes if someone, anyone, we're to run against him. Yes, Madiba and Mbeki may have some skeletons in their respective closets but it's Zuma's 'chameleon' leadership style (or lack there of) and gross nepotism that has paved the way for more corruption to find it's way into our government.

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-10-20 10:21

      Ndlovuvincent, corruption was here before Madiba but it is getting worse especially since Zuma ascended to the presidency.

      james.hurley.1401 - 2012-10-20 13:40

      @Ndlovu - I don't think being corrupt in ways that is comparable to the apartheid government is a good thing. Those thick-as-two-bricks morons are hardly models to aspire to.

      camp.j - 2012-10-20 14:54

      Patrick, respect is earned and not simply expected. Please list one area in which the government have earned respect. Think long and hard...

  • ben.rootman.3 - 2012-10-20 08:25

    This is what media freedom and responsibility means!

  • hlonipha.b.kwatsha - 2012-10-20 08:31

    U(government) can start respecting us by stopping the so called protection of information bill act and stop abuisng our money on your seats!we will return the favor after that.

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-10-20 08:31

    Mr VP as long as its the same media that perpetrated or owned by the perpetrators of apartheid it will always be anti-gvt, anti black gvt in particular. Develop a thick arrogant skin like Gwede!

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-10-20 08:51

    If the Government does its job and seriously adresses the incompetence,abuse of power,corruption and all the other short comings that contribute to the decay of our countries financial and socio economic wellfbeing,im sure theyl be nothing but praise Mr Mothlantle.You cant expect to ask for something if you dont earn it,dont you think?

  • ndlovuvincent - 2012-10-20 08:57

    U are absolutely right Motlante,the govt is the one causing this.Media must not respect govt when it comes to reporting corruption and fraud by govt officials.We must not pull out when corruption is being reported.Yes there are very sensitive issues which state has to protect but it seems there is a lot of corruption.There is one way the govt will earn respect from the media,only if cleans its house and get rid of the corrupt official which also affects Zuma.The day corruption is low,media will fire a lot of journos as there will be no work to do.We also want to read about the progress made by govt althogh we understand that media does not make money through reporting good work done by the govt.

  • don.mug.3 - 2012-10-20 09:01

    Media don't sleep on duty like ANC gvt.

      busanibm - 2012-10-20 12:32

      There is one thing you all people are not aware of, it is not the ANC nor Zuma that is corrupt but most people working for the government are thieves so if why don't we as a country teach other to be honest tourselves rather than pointing fingers!

      james.hurley.1401 - 2012-10-20 13:42

      @busa - no, zuma is not corrupt at all. The bulletproof glass and the elevators at Nkandla installed themselves and were funded by gold left in the night by leprechauns.

  • pearson.botha - 2012-10-20 09:13

    Mister Mothlanthe talks down to us, as if he were the chief of the tribe, the respected elder. And we, his subjects, gullible, childlike, ignorant, unthinking tribespeople, sitting in a circle around him, hungry for his wisdom. Don't get ahead of yourself Kgalema, we are your intellectual equals and superiors. The media lapdogs from the Cape Times and Independent News are your gullible subjects, not us. In western society governments need to EARN respect. The ANC government does nothing to EARN respect from the citizens, the media and foreign observers. Mothlanthe is a LIAR! The totalitarian, clumsy intellectually inferior ANC crushes debate. The ANC silences dissent. The ANC is busy destroying freedom of speech with new laws. Mothlanthe should grow up, think like a westerner, not like an all powerful tribal chief. Mothlanthe should stop talking rubbish, roll up his sleeves and do some work, EARN respect. As for the rest of us, VOTE THE ANC OUT!

  • jason.rom.9 - 2012-10-20 09:22

    I AGREE

  • thabob.zumagabe - 2012-10-20 09:25

    Government = cANCer gangstas = nada respect = capish !!???

  • andy.andrews.359126 - 2012-10-20 09:38

    Oh dear

  • mart.botha - 2012-10-20 09:45

    Looking at their 'integrity balance sheets' I would put Government at undenibly heading for bankrupcy, while the Media would be placed under administration. Perhaps MENSA should be challenged to come up with a solution to all the negatives. This rhetoric from an alleged President in waiting, does not bode well for our future......same old same old, regurgited from the book of 'Í will only say what I think the people want to hear. com !. Where's the innovation and determination to deliver to 'the five thousand'when they only have two fish and five loaves. I will tell you it's not on the agenda and that is why they give the media the gears.....because the media keep exposing their weaknesses as leaders, as amoral phsycophants and actually simply as people.

  • tony.ezendam - 2012-10-20 09:47

    The government is and has the problem, not the media.

      joe.mangena.1 - 2012-10-20 10:17

      Whites are never in the wrong, never!!

      joe.mangena.1 - 2012-10-20 10:17

      Whites are never in the wrong, never!!

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-10-20 10:40

      Joe get over your inferiority complex.

      tony.ezendam - 2012-10-20 12:40

      @joe. The media only report on whats happening. They don't offer solutions, neither do they have to. In any event anywhere, be it motor vehicle accidents, rape, murder, theft etc, the media only report on it. In this case, the ineptitude of the present day government is reported on, hence the ANC government screwing up, not the media.

  • joe.smit.549 - 2012-10-20 09:55

    Did Ali Baba

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-10-20 10:41

      Or his mates the 40 thieves.

      joe.smit.549 - 2012-10-20 11:12

      Have goals and ambition?

  • michael.freeman.16752 - 2012-10-20 10:02

    What democracy?People are sick and tired of covering up for the ANC BALLS UP'S.Motlanthe is quick to agree what that idiot Malema says to the press.

  • arnold.niemand.5 - 2012-10-20 10:28

    You EARN respect D&&S

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-20 10:46

    No Kgalema, the media should not become the propaganda mouthpiece for government; it must crucify your shortcomings. Do exceedingly good and THAT'S how you will EARN favourable publicity.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-20 10:57

    Sunshine of democracy, bah! There's ore sunshine outta my behind than from this fascist government.

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-10-20 11:00

    I like what he is saying, but I dont like what they are doing.

  • john.s.stalwart - 2012-10-20 11:21

    Motlanthe Kgalema is another human being who saw devil coming and ran for his life but unluckily he looked back and got lured by the smiles of the devil and his cohorts and he came back and joined the gravy train to hell,it's not yet in hell though bt I can tel u, Motlanthe is feeling the enormous heat already and he wants out of the train but something is holding him back,he doesn't want the gravy train to end in hell[what wil he eat?],he wants to take it back to the cooler place but here is the headache,he has to remove the driving devil and to that he needs more than enough support to topple him but the devil has all the support of the other demons and the lured humans who only care about sipping the gravy all the way to hell while threatening to silence anyone who dare expose their activities[the media] and it's an absulute impossibility to challenge him. A word of advice Mr DP Motlanthe,is either you break away from this train heading straight to the lower parts of hell or you also are hell bound and once the train gets into that hell there's no chance or hope of it coming back;think Motlanthe,think decisively like a man,protect your sanity and intergrity before it gets burnt beyond repair and recognition,it's your call sir.

  • john.s.stalwart - 2012-10-20 11:22

    Motlanthe Kgalema is another human being who saw devil coming and ran for his life but unluckily he looked back and got lured by the smiles of the devil and his cohorts and he came back and joined the gravy train to hell,it's not yet in hell though bt I can tel u, Motlanthe is feeling the enormous heat already and he wants out of the train but something is holding him back,he doesn't want the gravy train to end in hell[what wil he eat?],he wants to take it back to the cooler place but here is the headache,he has to remove the driving devil and to that he needs more than enough support to topple him but the devil has all the support of the other demons and the lured humans who only care about sipping the gravy all the way to hell while threatening to silence anyone who dare expose their activities[the media] and it's an absulute impossibility to challenge him. A word of advice Mr DP Motlanthe,is either you break away from this train heading straight to the lower parts of hell or you also are hell bound and once the train gets into that hell there's no chance or hope of it coming back;think Motlanthe,think decisively like a man,protect your sanity and intergrity before it gets burnt beyond repair and recognition,it's your call sir.

  • john.s.stalwart - 2012-10-20 11:22

    Motlanthe Kgalema is another human being who saw devil coming and ran for his life but unluckily he looked back and got lured by the smiles of the devil and his cohorts and he came back and joined the gravy train to hell,it's not yet in hell though bt I can tel u, Motlanthe is feeling the enormous heat already and he wants out of the train but something is holding him back,he doesn't want the gravy train to end in hell[what wil he eat?],he wants to take it back to the cooler place but here is the headache,he has to remove the driving devil and to that he needs more than enough support to topple him but the devil has all the support of the other demons and the lured humans who only care about sipping the gravy all the way to hell while threatening to silence anyone who dare expose their activities[the media] and it's an absulute impossibility to challenge him. A word of advice Mr DP Motlanthe,is either you break away from this train heading straight to the lower parts of hell or you also are hell bound and once the train gets into that hell there's no chance or hope of it coming back;think Motlanthe,think decisively like a man,protect your sanity and intergrity before it gets burnt beyond repair and recognition,it's your call sir.

  • RealEyes - 2012-10-20 11:50

    I think the media give the ANC exactly the respect they deserve... Respect is earned or lost. Act respectfully and you guys will get respect!!!

  • terry.moses.315 - 2012-10-20 11:52

    Mr Motlantle,what concerns me about you,is when you were asked why you not firing the minister and dep minister of education for incompetency,u said u didnt have the right to fire ppl since u were only invited to the post of dep pres.So incompetent ministers wil have a good time if u r invited to be president id say.pls tel us if theres such a thing as accountability in your structures?

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-10-20 12:23

    Mothlante, respect is earned, your ANC is not worthy of respect and you know it. Instead of preaching, rather tell us if you are running for office in December. So stop sitting on the fence.

  • dylan.mugabe - 2012-10-20 12:47

    Nobody owes these politicians anything. Liars, thieves and whore mongers, every last one of them.

  • Vince.York - 2012-10-20 13:44

    Motlanthe - the Media must be respected! it is the eyes and ears of THE PEOPLE, the CITIZENS whether you crony cadres up there ripping into the nations capital like it or not. Stop blocking Democratic checks and balances by inserting deployed cadres that have only one ambition - SELF ENRICHMENT while fawning at their paymasters feet, flies and skirts!

  • ron.samuels.129 - 2012-10-20 18:27

    how can you expect anyone to respect this government?Stop making comments like this and use your brain!

  • catherine.l.vanzyl - 2012-10-21 12:33

    lets start a support group of the PUBLIC PROTECTOR through all media links, lets show we have the PUBLIC PROTECTOR to protect us and put all money muchers in the eyes. if you munch our money we will put you in the eyes and let the law runs it course, lets make it really difficult FOR FOOLS to munch our bucks...SUPPORT THE PUBLIC PROTECTOR...ELEVATE THE OFFICE THROUGH OUR VOICES....let give them stick, those who are giving us a beating, lets stick it back to them!!!

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-21 13:45

    Uhhmmmm, VP, maybe politics is a sport to you, hence your comparison with Bafana et al... but good governance is a lifeline to us. There is no margin for error you idiot!

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