Communication about taxpayers’ money used for building work at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla homestead could have been handled much better, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said at the weekend.
He was responding to questions at a meeting in Cape Town of the SA National Editors’ Forum, where he was asked if the Nkandla controversy had damaged the image of the presidency.
“It has taken its toll on not only the image of the presidency, but the government and the whole country. It has created doubt about our commitment to root out corruption.”
Motlanthe also said that if local governments were effective countrywide, provinces would become superfluous.
“But right now you cannot do away with provinces until local municipalities are working properly.”
Sanef said in a statement on Sunday that the public should not doubt the political independence of journalists.
“Editors are the guardians of the highest standards of journalism in their newsrooms and must at all times ensure journalists do not conduct themselves in a manner that could lead audiences to doubt their political independence.” It had compiled a discussion document on journalists belonging to political parties.
“This arose as a result of a need to provide guidance in relation to matters of conflicts of interest.” There was a need to make newsrooms aware of potential conflicts of interest, either political or commercial.