by Phumlni Nkwanyana
I’m the journalism student and I strongly feel that our government is totally doing duties which are out of their scope. They are contributing to the malfunctioning of South African media, which is trying so hard to adapt in the global media sector.The government of South Africa’s attempt is to stop the proper functioning of media houses in this democratic country. These political gurus want to do their illegal matters and never be identified. As the country we have obtained democracy in 1994, which gave every member of the society freedom of expression.
Therefore media houses must not be shut when conducting it’s duties of informing the society. This is painful to witness that the 16 years of South African liberation has come into ruins so swift as media is not liberated accordingly. The unjust arrest of Sunday times journalist Mzilikazi WA Africa clearly indicates that our government has a long way to go in maintaining fair and free functioning of the media. Wa Afrika’s arrest was just the means of intimidation and endeavours of shutting effectiveness of investigative journalism.
The government should be focusing much on matters to stop poverty and unemployment which are major challenges facing this country. I believe that there is no editor that can allow false story to be published in the national newspaper. All the facts laid by Wa Afrika are true, but the government is trying to defend it wrongs by arresting journalists. Hawks should be chasing corruption which exist in our municipalities and do away with unnecessary arrest of journalists. Billions of rands vanish without any development or transformation being made in our society. But police are busy fighting media. Our government need to know that, it the undoubted fact that media is the most powerful tool in the society. They cannot do their wrongs and never be exposed.
That why investigative journalism was established, for extensive digging out of underground facts which exist within our societies. The sad part of this story is that the court found Wa Africa not guilty of any charges. But money was exceedingly spent from his arrest. The government used the amount raging from R20, 000 for Wa Africa’s arrest, R2, 000 for cost of transporting innocent Wa Africa to Mpumalanga and R15, 000 for court proceedings. This money could have helped many destitute societies. Our government should start focusing on more crucial issues of the society.