News / Eish!

Gosebo Mathope
2 minute read
12 Jan 2018
12:41 pm

Political Journalists to the DA: ‘You’re not above criticism, stop being intolerant’

Gosebo Mathope

Journalists remind party it will not receive special treatment and will be subjected to same probity test as other political parties in SA.

FILE PICTURE: Democratic Alliance (DA) Western Cape Premier and party leader Helen Zille speaks to supporters, 04 May 2014, at The Coca-Cola dome, Johannesburg, for the party’s final mass election rally. Picture: Alaister Russell

South African journalists have taken to Twitter to openly send a collective message to the Democratic Alliance (DA) leadership and its members. Several journalists from different media houses related their experiences with the DA.

The message was that the DA will not receive special treatment by the media and will be subjected to same probity test, and other checks and balances just like the ANC and other parties within the country’s political landscape.

Talk Radio 702 host and author Eusebius McKaiser started the online venting session when he wrote that in his experience, “ANC and EFF politician are far more accepting of the right of reporters and analysts to opine freely.”

Cape Argus editor Gasant Abarder was the first to respond to McKaiser. He shared his own experiences about DA leaders, stating that the problem is far more “pronounced” in the Western Cape.

DA MP Solly Malatsi offered an explanation for his colleagues’ conduct when the reportage is not singing their praises.

Online content producer Earl September reminded readers that when times were good for Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, she too harassed the media when they were critical of her and her administration.

Cape Town bureau chief for Sunday Times and TimesLIVE, Dave Chambers, supported Abarder’s claims that DA leaders were not above personally attacking journalists on Twitter, particularly Western Cape premier Helen Zille.

The prompted Darran Nadas to explain the difference between DA supporters and fans of soccer teams.

Incidents mentioned included no lesser than DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme and a legion of supporters insulting a journalist after asking a particularly uncomfortable question to the DA leader.

Daily Maverick’s Ranjeni Mununsamy was ticked off by how some DA leaders felt entitled to dictate to the media how do its job.

Political satirist Chester Missing had raised the issue recently, and singled out Zille as being over-reactive to his brand of humor.

Former radio host and author Redi Thlabi shared her own experiences.

Bruce Gordon reminded the DA and its supporters that they should not claim moral superiority as they were just a political party susceptible to shortcomings and blind spots. Just like all other parties in the country.

Joburg mayor accused of being too soft on Sharon Peetz’s ‘corruption’