Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
20 Jul 2018
3:56 pm

Ntsiki sets her ‘legal team’ on The Citizen

Daniel Friedman

The poet said in an email she is seeking legal advice due to our publication writing about her without interviewing her or seeking clarification about her tweets.

Ntsiki Mazwai. Picture: okmzansi

The Citizen reported on Saturday that poet Ntsiki Mazwai took exception to a report on our website saying that she “seems to have embraced the pro-Zuma movement”.

The report reacted to a tweet in which Mazwai expressed her belief that the media’s attempts to turn South Africa against ex-president Jacob Zuma and his family had backfired.

READ MORE: Jacob Zuma enjoys massive support ahead of upcoming court date

Mazwai was furious, saying we had misrepresented her views.

From the poet’s perspective, her position was against white “propaganda” used to turn black people against each other. One of the people caught up in this, according to her, is the former president.

She also pointed out that she could not be pro-Zuma when she, in fact, she supported Zuma’s rape accuser, the late Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo – popularly known as Khwezi.

She also told The Citizen her “legal team” would be in touch. Following this, I wrote an opinion piece about the incident.

On Friday Mazwai sent The Citizen an email indicating that she had, according to her claims, made good on her promise to contact her “legal team”. Below is the email, which called on us to “prove that what you reported about me is actual facts”.

An email sent to The Citizen by Ntsiki Mazwai. Picture: Screenshot.

The Citizen’s legal adviser confirmed that tweets are seen to be published on a public platform and therefore can be republished and reported on.

He said Mazwai’s best shot at a case would be if she could prove that we have reported on her tweets unfairly. This would be difficult considering the fact that her biggest problem seems to be that we alleged she was “pro-Zuma”, while the tweet did express an apparent pro-Zuma sentiment. This was particularly in the choice of words, “we adore them”, in reference to the Zuma family. We also reported that she “seems to” have embraced the Zuma camp, rather than that she definitely had.

READ MORE: Ntsiki Mazwai ticked off by report that she seems ‘pro-Zuma’

Noting Ntsiki’s objection to being written about “without interviewing” her “or seeking clarification, we called her for comment. She said that she would not speak to The Citizen until we apologised, after which the call was cut off, leading us to believe she had hung up.

READ MORE: Ntsiki’s worst enemy

The Citizen is not the only publication that finds Mazwai’s social media utterances newsworthy. Recently published articles about her tweets can be found on the websites of TimesLive, The Sowetan, IOL and Drum. None of these publications approached Mazwai for comment either.

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