From as early as 1997 Nelson Mandela warned of an Anti-ANC Media

2014-03-17 06:21

When people pass away we usually pick which memories of them we want to remain behind with. When we speak about them, we omit certain parts of their lives to either protect them or to protect our own interests.

The Israeli Jewish Media will never quote Nelson Mandela when he said

"We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians".

This they will do this to either protect or sustain their occupation of Palestine and other unjust laws they have introduced there.

Same as the American Media will never quote him when he said

"We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious, imperialist-orchestrated campaign; we, too, want to control our own destiny".

This they will do because they are the "imperialist" Mandela was talking about and America did not like the relationship Mandela maintained with Fidel Castro the Cuban leader.

Barack Obama was recently called a sell-out by the American Media after he shook hands with Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial last year.

When our Media tells us about Mandela it also has its own interests to protect and its own agendas to either set or achieve.

Though our Media praises Nelson Mandela, omitting the ANC deliberately, it will also omit his views on our Media.

In December 1997 at the ANC's 50th Conference Nelson Mandela gave a report to the ANC on the state of the Media, three years after the ANC won the first country's democratic elections.

Nelson Mandela told ANC delegates that they had to

"confront the fact that during the last three years (of ANC's government since 1994), the matter became perfectly clear that the bulk of the mass media in South Africa set itself up as force opposed to the ANC... a manner akin to what the National Party (was) doing in its sphere, media exploits the dominant positions it achieved as a result of the apartheid system, to campaign against both real change and the real agents of change, as represented by our movement, led by the ANC"

It is still the same Media we are talking about today. It is as Nelson Mandela put it, clear, that the Media has set itself as oppositional forces to the ANC. Mandela saw it just three years of ANC government, its still clear after 20 years to those wise enough to open their eyes.

Now in South Africa we have a Media that plays politics, siding with opposition political parties. The Media projects itself as a watchdog of the state, a representative of the public when it true fact its not.

They do this because during the apartheid era, the Media genuinely represented the majority as it was in solidarity with them and the masses were in solidarity with it as it was also suppressed.

Mandela continued to say that after 1994

" the majority has no choice but to rely for information and communication on a media representing the privileged minority"

The other representative of the minority at time were the National Party and the Democratic Party (now known as DA).

Its Nelson Mandela who said at that Mafikeng ANC conference

"The Democratic Party (DA), has no policy differences with the NP, it has sought to position itself as an implacable enemy of the ANC, and on this basis, to try to convince the supporters of the National Party to switch their allegiance to itself... therefore has no choice but itself to adopt reactionary positions aimed at protecting the privileges of the constituency it is struggling to secure for itself"

So from as early as 1997, our Media was already Pro- National Party and Pro-DP (DA) as Nelson Mandela suggested and Anti-ANC. Both hese parties (NP and DP) represented the same constituency, the minority.

You can see this in the ownership, content and access of the media.

It has over the past years successfully managed to extract Nelson Mandela from the ANC. This they do saying the ANC is no longer that of Nelson Mandela.

This amazes me, the ANC was never Nelson Mandela's. He like many was its member and each and every policy decision was made by the people not him alone. It is this policies today that the ANC continues to implement, policies first implemented by the Mandela administration.

The first Black president of our democratic South Africa went on to say the Media's efforts were to denounce transformation so to protect its own privilege which was the continuation of the apartheid legacy which was defended by the NP and DP.

The Media then uses the democratic order as an umbrella to protect its own biased, anti-ANC stance under the name of "freedom of expression" or "free media".

"When it speaks against us (the ANC), this represents freedom of thought, speech and the press - which the world must applaud" Nelson Mandela said

The public doesn't know what Media independence means. To many, taking an anti-ANC stance is Media Independence. However, media independence is not just being free from ANC government and Nelson Mandela knew this very well.

He also knew his critique of the Media was not going to go down well with many Media outlets.

This was clear when he said:

"When the ANC exercises its own right to freedom of thought and speech to criticize the Media for its failings, this represents an attempt to suppress the freedom of the press -for which the world must punish us...

..thus the media uses the democratic order, brought about by the enormous sacrifices of our own people, as an instrument to protect the legacy of racism, graphically described by its own patterns of ownership, editorial control, value system and advertiser influence"

Of course when you criticize the Media you will be accused of tempering and undermining its independence again, this, Nelson Mandela also knew.

He said his comments were going to be received with a tirade of denunciation with claims that he was calling for the Media to act as lapdogs instead of watchdogs.

As we celebrate the 20 years of democracy we must ask ourselves if Nelson Mandela was wrong when he said these things in 1997. If he was right, we need to ask ourselves if the Media has transformed to be a representative of the people not political parties or the minority.

If we don't ask ourselves these questions, the Media will have us hating our own people diving us so we will have the masters ruling us again.

Follow me @Esethu_u on Twitter

Report by the President of the ANC, Nelson Mandela to the 50th National Conference of the African National Congress -16 December 1997, Mafikeng

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