'Ignore call to boycott City Press'

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Ferial Haffajee1 Independent Newspapers City Press editor Ferial Haffajee. Photo: Boxer Ngwenya.

People must ignore the ANC's call to boycott City Press over an image on its website depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed, the United Democratic Movement said on Friday.

“Both the SACP and the ANC appear to be using the saga between President Zuma and cartoonists to fight their own battles with the City Press, which exposed their hypocrisy on many issues,” UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said.

“Their call would have resonated with the people in the pre-1994 era when they still served as a moral compass for South Africans. However, given the extent of corruption in government together with its poor service delivery record, attempts by a compromised leadership to call for a newspaper boycott are unlikely to succeed.”

People knew the same newspaper brought them news about corruption in government, including the involvement of tripartite alliance partners' investment arms in government tenders, said Holomisa.

The Congress of the People said people should defend their right to know and buy the City Press.

“To call for a boycott is synonymous to denying citizens to know the views of others on contentious issues that are in the public discourse. Rather, we would like to advise the ruling party to engage 1/8rather 3/8 than shut the paper out,” said a statement from Buks Mahlangu, Cope spokesman.

He said it was particularly disappointing that while there was a quest for information and contesting of ideas, the leading party was seeking to stop people from reading and participating in debates, through the print media, on issues that affected their day-to-day life.

The ANC has applied to the High Court in Johannesburg to force City Press to remove the image of the Brett Murray painting “The Spear” from its website.

They also called for the boycott unless the publication complied with this demand and apologised.

City Press has so far refused. - Sapa



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