ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma took a broad swipe at the media – particularly the South African media – in a lunch at the World Editors Forum, saying they had gone overboard and infringed his dignity as a citizen, writes Bate Felix.
Addressing a luncheon of world editors gathered in Cape Town as a guest speaker, Zuma said he was pursuing his case of suing a number of South African newspapers for defamation.

“I did this after very serious consideration,” he said.

“I believe in press freedom, but I also believe that press went overboard in reporting about me. In respect of my dignity and privacy, I felt violated, the media went overboard, and they went beyond that and tried and convicted me and I think that was wrong,” he said.

Zuma said the media must be careful when dealing with individuals because they have little recourse when the media is at fault.

“When writing stories about individuals, big letters are used on the front pages, but when there is a mistake and have to make a correction, you [the media] write them in small letters hidden somewhere in the inside pages – that’s unfair because the first impression always remains,” said Zuma.

Zuma also warned that the media must not allow itself to be manipulated by government officials or people with vested interest because it might lose its credibility.