Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has criticised the media for what he terms “its biased coverage”. Speaking at the 67 Minutes Leadership talk in Kempton Park, he said certain media houses opted to feature analysis that was not objective on their programmes.
He said the media had a responsibility in exposing all corruption and not just some corruption.
“I am not attacking the media, I am allowed to give my opinion on matters. There is a cohort of analysts that when they appear, you can tell they are going to champion a certain narrative.”
He mentioned the recent Sunday Times report in which author Jacques Pauw highlighted former Sars employee and tax law interpreter Keletso Bizoski Manyike’s employment status, religion, and his recreational activities and described the description as shameful.
“I was left believing that this man is always on a high. I was left wondering why the [public protector had to rely] on the evidence of this person. The man articulated what happened [while appearing on TV]. I’m not saying [whether or not he was] telling the truth, I’m saying he did not strike me as a crazy man who lived in a haze.
“Sadly some of the things… are designed to project some in a negative light and others always in a positive light. That is not how we build a nation.”
To believe that South Africa’s problems would end once “you have dealt with the Guptas” was a fallacy, he claimed.
“When did our state-owned enterprises begin to lose money? We need to ask ourselves when SOEs started losing money. Who is benefiting from SOEs all these years? Why are we not talking about these things?”
He argued that the country would never overcome corruption if “we” continued to be orchestrated into believing corruption only existed in government and not among people in the private sector.
“Part of what we have been channelled to believe is that corruption is only in the public sector. Let me be more crude and say we have been made to believe that it’s a ‘black thing’.”
On the eve of Nelson Mandela’s birthday, Mogoeng urged for all to take up a cause to fulfil Nelson Mandela’s dream of giving back.
In closing, he said: “When people benefit from wrongdoing, they fight any attempt to dislodge them. When people have reached a level where they are prepared to make money or ascend to power by any means necessary, don’t think they will smile at you when you try to rock the boat. Smear campaigns will be waged against you.”