SANEF DISAGREES ABOUT NKANDLA PICTURES
November 21 2013
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) does not agree with the ministers of police and state security, who said today that it was illegal to publish photographs of President Jacob Zuma’s upgraded Nkandla home.
The purpose of the National Key Points Act of 1980 is to protect the security measures of national key points from being revealed. In this case, it unfortunately seems that the ministers are using security laws to avoid accounting to the public on the Nkandla upgrades.
It has never been the intention of the media to undermine President Zuma’s security by publishing these pictures. Similarly, we publish photos of other national key points, like the Union Buildings and Parliament on an almost daily basis.
The photographs that have been published were taken from a distance or from the air to show the extent of the upgrades worth over R200 million that the public has paid for.
It must always be remembered that these upgrades were done to President Zuma’s private residence, from which he and his family will continue to benefit for years to come, and not state property.
We will continue to publish images of the Nkandla upgrades because we firmly believe there is immense public interest in doing so. To stop doing so will be a betrayal of our duty as watchdogs of democracy.