During a post Cabinet briefing on Thursday, the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa and the Minister of State Security, Siyabonga Cwele levelled a threat against members of the media and warned them against taking and distributing pictures of President Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla.
This is an assault on freedom of expression and is blatantly unconstitutional.
To even consider using a pernicious Apartheid-era law such as the National Key Points Act to justify it makes it worthy of condemnation in the strongest terms.
President Zuma’s silence on this matter is deafening. As the head of the executive, he must either confirm whether he agrees with these unconstitutional comments made by members of his cabinet, or he must strongly rebuke them and clarify that this is not the position of his government.
If he is committed upholding the Constitution, which he is bound to do as President of the Republic, he will issue such a condemnation as a matter of urgency.
Members of the media and the public must be free to continue to use and publish pictures of Nkandla regardless of these threats.
It is our right in our democracy to do so. If President Zuma has any respect for our Constitution, he will send out the very same message and distance himself from the inexplicable comments by members of his cabinet.