Zuma's Monday Massacre and the importance of free media
It's interesting to note that at a time of increased hostility towards the media in general, and the print media in particular, newspapers would be celebrating one of their greatest victories. It hasn't been put like this yet (and it may still be this Sunday), but surely one of the headlines that could have rung out in the wake of Monday's series of announcements by President Jacob Zuma is "Sunday Times claims Minister, Police Commissioner"
It was because of newspapers, and the media, that Zuma was put in a position in which he eventually had to act this week. Now would be a good time to evaluate how the battle between hacks (like us) and politicians (like Zuma) is going. Who is really winning this battle in the field of public opinion?
It was that incredible team of Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilikazi wa Afrika [disclaimer: Grootes is a personal friend of Hofstatter] that on 1 August last year first broke the news that National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele had been personally involved in arranging the deal for a new police headquarters with Roux Shabangu. Fourteen months later Cele is suspended, and Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde is no longer with us as Public Works minister.
And it's not a story that's necessarily dead yet; the political ramifications of Cele's suspension could linger on for a while.
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The Daily Maverick is a unique blend of news, information, analysis and opinion delivered from a newsroom in Johannesburg, South Africa by the old Maverick editorial team of Branko Brkic, Kevin Bloom, Phillip de Wet and Ivo Vegter, as well as Stephen Grootes, Brooks Spector, Tim Cohen, Theresa Mallinson, Sipho Hlongwane and Mandy de Waal. First Thing is its morning newsletter which tells you what happened while you were sleeping, gives you a heads-up on what will happen during the rest of the day and gives you links to selected articles on the site, just in case you missed them. Follow The Daily Maverick on Twitter at @dailymaverick.
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About Stephen Grootes: @StephenGrootes
Stephen Grootes is political reporter for Eyewitness News (www.ewn.co.za) and contributing editor for Business Day (www.businessday.co.za). He used to write for The Daily Maverick (www.thedailymaverick.co.za). Follow him on Twitter at @StephenGrootes.