eNCA canning of Zuma interview contradictory and irregular – analyst

South Africa - Johannesburg - 18 may 2024 - Leader of Umkhonto Wesizwe Jacob Zuma arrives at Orlando stadium for the party mayibuye rally in Soweto. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspaper

South Africa - Johannesburg - 18 may 2024 - Leader of Umkhonto Wesizwe Jacob Zuma arrives at Orlando stadium for the party mayibuye rally in Soweto. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspaper

Published May 28, 2024


Prominent political analyst Jamie Mighti has launched an attack against TV station, eNCA, over its canning of an interview with uMkhonto weSizwe (MKP) president Jacob Zuma that was supposedly going to be aired on Monday evening.

Mighti, speaking exclusively to The Star said he thinks that the decision that was announced by eNCA was “irregular” and “contradictory”.

This comes after social media was abuzz that the former president would be on a television interview ahead of the anticipated national and provincial elections.

However, the broadcaster released a statement that they had not sanctioned an interview with the former president with Power to Truth presenter JJ Tabane.

“The interview cannot be broadcast as it is so close to the elections. For this reason, all current affairs programmes, including Power To Truth have been cancelled this week.

“eNCA cannot advance the interests of any political party over another. If the interview was broadcast all other political parties would need to be given even equivalent airtime which is impossible at this stage,” eNCA wrote in a statement.

However, Mighti told The Star that the broadcaster was acting unfairly.

“It is irregular because eNCA was advertising that they will screen this interview which is to indicate that they had already done whatever checks necessary and had deemed it appropriate to air the Jacob Zuma interview,” said Mighti.

He further said: “It is contradictory to the sense that other media houses are still airing interviews for instance we saw one of the news channels airing the former president Thabo Mbeki’s interview which is within the 48-hours window.”

Mighti said there also seems to be a misunderstanding on what the code indicates.

“The code indicates that party material may not be broadcast 48-hours within the electoral cycle. It doesn’t indicate for instance interviews that are hosted by the channel cannot be broadcast.

“There is no inherent gain from an interview, banning it while other channels are showing other interviews can create a perception in the public that there is a negative sentiment about that particular candidate being outright banned,” said Mighti.

Speaking about the MKP, Mighti said Zuma has a right like other South Africans to express his political ideology and beliefs through a political party.

“We have seen many breakaway parties in the last 10 to 15 years such as Cope, EFF, ActionSA, Build One South Africa (Bosa), as such it is not healthy to then cast aspersions on one of the breakaway parties.

“I think that Zuma should not be given any special treatment because he is Zuma but that applies both in a positive and negative aspect and I think there have been some discrepancies in the treatment of Zuma in the build up to the elections and these interviews are a proof point of the particular dilemma or treatment,” Mighti said.

The former president, speaking to The Star last night said: “They’ve always hated me. Because I’ve threatened the power of monopolies. But they cannot turn the people of South Africa against me. But they tried.

“Remember that eNCA boss Johnny Colbyn was a big donor to the secret CR17 fund. It is time for South Africans to rise up and vote for a party that will defeat censorship by the media of monopoly capital. We should not complain, we should mobilise and give MK a divisive victory.”

The MKP, through its spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela, said Zuma was being targeted.

“The MK Party vehemently condemns the ongoing and systematic persecution of president Jacob Zuma, and by extension MK Party by eNCA and its associates. This persecution is a direct result of a co-ordinated anti-Zuma campaign orchestrated by the ANC of Cyril Ramaphosa on behalf of White Monopoly Capital (WMC), and those who are intimidated by the MK Party's radical stance on land expropriation without compensation,” he said.

The Star