ANC Nelson Mandela Bay chairperson Nceba Faku encouraged more than 100 party members to burn down Port Elizabeth’s The Herald newspaper as he celebrated the party’s election victory outside the Port Elizabeth City Hall on Thursday night. Faku said the party was celebrating an “important battle that is between the ANC and the media”.
For the most part the IEC did a great job during the local government elections, bar a few minor incidents here and there. Some metro’s were so closely fought that some celebrating was to be expected.
The ANC just managed to retain control of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro with 51.9% of the votes and in the process shed a large percentage of the vote.
But burning a newspaper?
The primary battle of the ANC has been with the media, especially The Herald, in this region. Down with white political parties, down. Down with those who vote for white political parties, down.
The Herald dictated that [DA leader Helen] Zille and [Cope’s Smuts] Ngonyama would stand here today and run the metro. The Herald was on the forefront of that … passop [beware] The Herald, passop.
Go and burn The Herald. We will face a bullet with a bullet.
It appears that Faku already had some beef before the elections with the paper anyway and has reportedly earned a mention in the Kabuso forensic report into municipal land sales and tenders, commissioned by the provincial local government and traditional affairs department.
He finished his whinging to loud applause and said blacks who did not like other black people and their organisations should be driven into the sea, or go to Europe. “We need a Malema in this town, we need a Malema,” he said before handing over the microphone.
The Herald went to the courts to force department MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane, who doubles as ANC provincial spokesperson, to release the report.
SA National Editors’ Forum chairperson Mondli Makhanya said the group was horrified that a senior political leader in South Africa could call for the burning of newspapers and said it was the sort of thing that happened in Nazi Germany back in the 1930’s.
Herald Editor Heather Robertson expressed her feelings:
I am deeply disturbed by Mr Faku’s threat to burn this newspaper. It is shocking that he attacks all of us who work for The Herald on the night of what should be the ANC’s victory celebration.
Mr Faku clearly does not grasp the freedom of expression clause in the Bill of Rights, which was drafted by the ANC.
Mondli continued that Faku’s utterances were a criminal offence and should be treated as such. Unsurprisingly, senior ANC officials chose to distance themselves from the incident.
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