Presidency Addresses Independent Article

The Presidency says it is alarmed by what it describes as a personal attack on President Jacob Zuma by Max du Preez in an article that appeared in theIndependent News titles today, which also contains factual errors.

“Neither Independent Newspapers nor Mr Du Preez have given the President or the Presidency an opportunity to respond to the serious allegations that are made in the piece which attack the person of the President. This failure to observe such a basic tenet of the journalism trade is disturbing as it is becoming a trend in some sections of the media.

“Mr Du Preez blames the President for the recent suspensions of public servants, the SARS senior managers and recently a senior police official. The institutions of government will, should it be deemed necessary, take action against certain public servants in certain instances.

“Such action normally forms part of internal disciplinary processes in government departments, which would have nothing to do with the President. The knee jerk reaction of blaming the President for everything that happens in institutions without any attempt to verify the information indicates lazy and mischievous journalism.

“Opinion makers should undertake research and ensure that their commentary is based on facts and not spread rumours and gossip as Mr du Preez has done in his piece,” said the Presidency.

The high office said Du Preez also repeats a lie that Judge Hilary Squires corrected a few years ago.

“The Judge pointed out that he never said that President Zuma had a corrupt relationship with Mr Shabir Shaik. The phrase was created by the media and was repeated many times until many people began to believe it was true, flying in the face of fair and truthful reporting. It is mind boggling why Independent Newspapers and Mr Du Preez decided to repeat this lie that has been corrected by the Judge before.

“What is more disturbing is that the piece smacks of prejudice and racism given the manner in which Mr Du Preez describes the President,” said the Presidency.

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