Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
14 Dec 2018
6:40 am

Is Motsoeneng just riding the wave of media attention?

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Saying outrageous things for media attention instead of offering ideas that people can believe in seems to be small parties' modus operandi, an analyst says.

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng is pictured during a press briefing in Johannesburg, 13 December 2018, announcing his new political party the African Content Movement. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Smaller political parties vying for a spot in the election race were failing to impress and were relying on their ability to make headlines, a media analyst has said.

In the wake of the launch of disgraced former SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s new political party, the second new party in as many months, Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird questioned the role of the media in making outlandish characters seem more influential than in reality.

“You never get to hear about the other smaller parties competing in the elections unless they are able to somehow draw media attention to themselves like your Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Andile [Mngxitama] and Black First Land First (BLF),” Bird said.

“At least to some degree Patricia de Lille has some degree of credibility, she has worked in government and parliament and so she may well have some support behind her …

“That is the new emerging trend now with BLF as well. We are getting to see this new agenda of saying really outrageous things to get media attention instead of actually offering ideas that people can put their faith in,” he added.

“Where is the Green Party and if it still exists, what are the new ideas around climate change and the environment. Where are the parties that stand against gender-based violence and racism?”

Motsoeneng’s announcement of his African Content Movement was sparsely attended save for the media and about 100 supporters.

The man behind the 90% local content movement which rocked the national broadcaster claimed to have widespread support among marginalised communities.

Bird explained that it was a common trope for small radical parties to find resonance in marginalised communities whose opinions were seldom reflected in bigger parties.

Motsoeneng yesterday distanced himself from the EFF and BLF, and said his party was against the expropriation of land without compensation; against social grants; and called for a less state-dependent society.

The new party had yet to pay the R600 000 registration fee required by the Independent Electoral Commission for next year’s elections and like BLF, was calling for donations from ordinary citizens.

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