Johannesburg - The media will continue to publish pictures of upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's homestead at Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal, the SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) said on Thursday.
“We will continue to publish images... because we firmly believe there is immense public interest in doing so,” it said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele warned the media that it was illegal to publish the pictures.
It was an unacceptable security breach under the National Key Points Act that would not be tolerated in any democracy, Cwele said.
Sanef said the purpose of the act was to protect security measures of national key points from being revealed.
“In this case, it unfortunately seems that the ministers are using security laws to avoid accounting to the public on the Nkandla upgrades.”
Sanef said it was not the intention of the media to undermine Zuma's security by publishing the pictures.
“Similarly, we publish photos of other national key points, like the Union Buildings and Parliament on an almost daily basis,” it said.
“It must always be remembered that these upgrades were done to President Zuma's private residence, from which he and his family will continue to benefit for years to come, and not state property.”
The editors said the photographs published had been taken from a distance or from the air to show the extent of the upgrades to the property.