ANC calls for City Press ad boycott

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Mthembu INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu. Photo: Motshwari Mofokeng

The ANC also wants a boycott on advertising in City Press, spokesman Jackson Mthembu said on Friday.

The party has called for people to boycott buying the Sunday paper, which also runs a 24-hour website, until it removes an image depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals displayed, and apologises for using the image.

“Until then, we will continue to call on all South Africans, including all formations of civil society (business, labour, churches, youth formations, and women organisations), and democrats at large who share our sentiment on this issue to boycott the newspaper, cancel their subscriptions as we have done already, and not to advertise in the City Press,” he said in a statement.

The ruling party denied it was abusing its power or intimidating anyone in its boycott call.

“We will do everything within the bounds of law to persuade the newspaper to accept the reality that we will not rest until this public display of arrogance is removed and a public apology made,” Mthembu said.

His statement was in response to the SA National Editors' Forum saying the boycott was “tantamount to intimidation and abuse of power”.

“This kind of behaviour is unbecoming of a party that functions on an open, democratic stage, and especially one which leads the national government,” Sanef said.

On Thursday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe called for the boycott as the party was making a court application to have a painting, “The Spear” by Brett Murray, removed from public display.

It was defaced at the Goodman Gallery on Tuesday but images remain on City Press's website. The publication has refused to remove it.

Thursday's court application pitted Zuma's claim to a right to dignity against the publication and gallery's right to freedom of expression. The case was postponed.

Information was not immediately available from City Press to confirm the ANC's cancellation.

According to City Press's website, it has a readership of 1.6 million. A 12-month subscription costs R591. A monthly paid subscription costs R56.90. The normal cover price is R13, with a saving of 12 percent for subscribing. – Sapa

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