Mashaba is a danger to our country but so too is our media

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By Pinky Khoabane

An analysis of media reportage of xenophobic utterances by King Goodwill Zwelithini and Herman Mashaba exposes media bias…

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In a divided country that South Africa is, the likes of Joburg City Mayor Herman Mashaba can get away with anything and everything – including inciting afrophobic attacks. Mashaba recently called African nationals illegally in the country “criminals” and accused them of “messing up” the City. His utterances have been followed by a spike in attacks on foreign-owned businesses and homes. 

There has been very little condemnation by the media and the chattering classes whose outrage is determined by the media anyway.

Contrast this mute response to King Goodwill Zwelithini’s utterances in March 2015 when he called for the deportation of foreigners.

As soon as the remarks were published in the media, the Democratic Alliance (DA) was among the first to issue a statement condemning the King for “highly irresponsible” comments given the “recent spate of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. He should do the right thing, retract and apologise,” the party said.

Where is a similar condemnation of its Mashaba?

At the time, Zwelithini said his comments were taken out of context by the media but those in the media who know Zulu said the King didn’t mince his words when he “likened foreigners to parasitic fleas”.

“Foreigners must go home – King Zwelithini” was the headline in The Citizen http://citizen.co.za/news/news-national/349347/foreigners-must-go-home-king-zwelithini/

TimesLive’s headline http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2015/04/16/listen-to-exactly-what-king-goodwill-zwelithini-said-about-foreigners

The Herald http://www.herald.co.zw/zulu-king-stokes-xenophobia/

The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/20/south-africa-xenophobic-violence-zulu-king-goodwill-zwelithini

Even constitutional lawyers entered the fray and analysed whether the King could be charged with hate speech and the punishment http://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/xenophobic-statement-is-king-zwelithini-guilty-of-hate-speech/

In Mashaba’s case, there has been little if any condemnation by the media. I couldn’t find a piece condemning him. Instead, the few articles written are about the anti-immigrants march and views by organisations against xenophobia who blame Mashaba. But no opinion pieces anywhere from our esteemed columnists.

There were more articles on Mashaba’s shock of the planned “xenophobic attacks and his denunciation of xenophobia. The slant was similar in most newspapers: “No place for xenophobia in Joburg – Mashaba”.

IOL: http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/no-place-for-xenophobia-in-joburg-says-mashaba-7876317

TimesLive: http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2017/02/22/IN-FULL-No-place-for-xenophobia-in-the-City-of-Johannesburg-says-Herman-Mashaba

The Citizen: http://citizen.co.za/news/news-national/1436145/why-xenophobic-joburg-is-so-angry-according-to-mashaba/

Only the Mail & Guardian had a somewhat negative take on Mashaba and attributed the attacks to him albeit that by the end of the article the report had turned the blame elsewhere http://mg.co.za/article/2017-02-23-00-mashaba-still-scot-free-as-attacks-erupt

By late afternoon, some on Twitter had begun speculating that it was only a matter of time before the media blamed President Jacob Zuma and the ANC and indeed, they were not to be disappointed as EWN shifted the story to the storming of the Joburg council and reported that Mashaba blamed the ANC. http://ewn.co.za/2017/02/23/herman-mashaba-blames-anc-for-violence-at-joburg-council.

By the weekend, Mashaba’s utterances which have no space in our country today, will have been conveniently removed from our memory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments on "Mashaba is a danger to our country but so too is our media"

  1. All our problems will be solved the minute we statt boycotting SA Media

  2. Jeff Koorbanally | February 24, 2017 at 11:10 am | Reply

    Media is the biggest danger & a threat to our country & hard fought democracy.
    It is this God forsaken Media that sew divivions amongst us, black & white.
    By being selective in their publications of nagativity & criticism which is always directed or focused on black people of this country, this will lead to racial war in this country! We all as responsible citizen black & white need to stand up and challenge these dangerous act of the media!

  3. The media is performing an opposition role far more than the opposition parties themselves. Everyday we are bombarded with stories telling us how bad President Zuma and ANC are. The media is actively polarising our society in its vain pursuit of the regime change agenda. On Thursday the media went to town, in a seemingly celebratory mood, about the unparliamentary reference to Molefe as a “corrupt bastard” by an overzealous EFF MP. Contrast this with how Supra’s f*ck you to Steenhuisen was condemned. While both utterances were unparliamentary the EFF MP’s was celebrated and made to sound ligt hearted. I hope and pray fellow South Africans can see through these shenanigans and will continue to make the crrect choice at the polls. We cannot afford to be foreigners in any African country considering how we treat our fellow Africans.

  4. The media is performing an opposition role far more than the opposition parties themselves. Everyday we are bombarded with stories telling us how bad President Zuma and ANC are. The media is actively polarising our society in its vain pursuit of the regime change agenda. On Thursday the media went to town, in a seemingly celebratory mood, about the unparliamentary reference to Molefe as a “corrupt bastard” by an overzealous EFF MP. Contrast this with how Supra’s f*ck you to Steenhuisen was condemned (that f*ck you was powerful though). While both utterances were unparliamentary the EFF MP’s was celebrated and made to sound light hearted. I hope and pray fellow South Africans can see through these shenanigans and will continue to make the correct choice at the polls. We cannot afford to be foreigners in any African country considering how we treat our fellow Africans.

  5. Thanks Admin for continuing to expose the biasness and the agenda of not being fair in the way stories are put into the public space in this country.

    The same approach in the way The Citizen lost the case against Steven Motale, but very quite when court instructs The Citizen to reinstate him – by the way is Steven Motale back at work – I haven’t heard anything yet?

    Keep up the good work – we appreciate the intervention by Uncensored. …Is there a way we can donate to the team on a monthly basis?

    • Dear Klaas

      Thanks so much for your kind words.

      We live in dangerous times – when the media is as biased as ours is, it doesn’t help our democracy – which relies on an informed citizenry. But we know they are now part of regime change.

      I will update the Stephen Motale story and thank you for your enquiry. The Citizen is approaching the issue on a rather confused manner – a two pronged approach where it is implementing the judge’s ruling of implementing the internal DC while also appealing the ruling. The idea is really to drag the case out as long as possible. That’s the problem with our courts.

      THanks so much for asking about donations. I have registered the company as an NPC and need to open a bank account where donations can be made. Will update and thanks kindly for your support in this regard.

      Kindest

      PK

  6. The major difference between Zwelithini and Mashaba is in the language they used.

    Mashaba condemns ILLEGAL immigrants specifically, which by definition are criminals in this country as they have not followed a due process to gain citizenship, putting undue strain on our already limited resources without necessarily contributing (no documentation, no tax)

    Zwelithini on the other hand, did not specify that only illegal immigrants should go, instead all foreigners.

    However this is hardly the real issue, neither of the above statements should never have lead to violent attacks.

    In Mashaba’s case he said that it is a governmental problem to solve,
    and in Zwelithini’s case, he did say please.

    This is a cultural issue that we face in South Africa, our people turn to violence as a first response.

    As for media bias, as long as the media has existed, there has been a bias. (CNN, Fox, any war propaganda)

    I however have found some negative takes on Mashaba, its good that we can find both sides of the story, even if they are not from the main news sources.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2017/02/28/Home-Affairs-hits-back-at-Mashaba-over-xenophobia-barb1
    https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2017-02-24-groundup-mashaba-has-incited-xenophobia-says-immigrants-spokesperson/#

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