Quick about-turn on Nkandla photos
THE MEDIA has misconstrued a cabinet directive over the publication of photographs of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home, a government spokeswoman said yesterday.
“Government has no problem with the media publishing pictures of national key points, including President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence, as it is part of their daily line of duty,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) acting chief executive Phumla Williams.
“However, zooming into safety and security features of National Key Points is a challenge as it compromises national security.”
Several newspapers printed photographs of the Nkandla residence yesterday after a warning by State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele that it was illegal.
Cwele was addressing a briefing on Thursday that was dominated by the tussle between the government and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela over her impending report on the use of public funds to upgrade security at Nkandla.
Williams suggested the media had misconstrued the directive and that reporting on the matter was out of context, providing a disingenuous view to the public.
“The publication of security features of President Zuma’s home directly opens access to and can obviously pose a threat and risk to the personal safety of the head of state.”
Rather, the GCIS urged the media to take a responsible stance by not publishing “any security features of National Key Points” that may compromise national safety.
In Parliament on Thursday, Cwele had said publishing photographs of Nkandla was an unacceptable security breach under the National Key Points Act.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Zuma was the victim of a propaganda campaign suggesting he used taxpayers’ money for his private home. This was a lie.
“Those who do so follow the example of Joseph Goebbels, the propagandist of Hitler. No matter how often you repeat this lie, it is a lie.” – Sapa