Malema coverage debated

These letters appeared in CXPRESS of April 18 and 25 respectively

EFF cover causes ‘fear and confusion’

I hate to criticize but have to say what I want to say.
I am extremely disappointed and annoyed with the placing of Malema and the EFF’s “freedom fighters” on the front page of CXPRESS of April 11.
It displays and promulgates his revolutionary goals, which causes confusion and fear with people. Words fail me to express my dismay and rejection.
The photos and article gave free, prime and explicit coverage to Malema! I wonder what the other political parties will say about this.
At the shop where I took a copy of CXPRESS, a lot of people were looking at the front page expressing their mixed opinions. A little girl asked her mother with fear in her eyes: “What is going to happen?”
I have been resident in Plettenberg Bay since 2001 and have always loved to read your paper, but regretfully, it would appear that you are giving preference to political situations and sensations.
I am not interested therein and will no longer read your paper. Since Wednesday I have spoken to a substantial number of people regarding the article. They are also very unhappy and expressed their dismay.
DJJ Freislich, Plett
(Mr Freislich, you make it sound as if CXPRESS is the sole publication to expose the antics of arguably Africa’s most talked-about politician.
Are you also reviled by the fact that a majority of South African TV channels, radio stations, and vast array of national and regional print and electronic media report on the land-grabbing rile-up currently effected by the EFF leadership?
Turning a blind eye to these reports may well leave you stranded in a news desert, blissfully oblivious to the political realities and challenges currently faced by our nation.
The CXPRESS editorial staff found it extremely newsworthy that Malema staged a rally in George, which falls within our distribution footprint; also noteworthy is the fact that his party enjoys a huge and growing following, not least because of his ‘free land’ promise.
Would you rather be ignorant of this state of affairs? Would it have been less disconcerting if his statements on Van Riebeeck, racism, Afrikaners and the like were not included?
Should CXPRESS, a month or so shy of celebrating our 20th anniversary, start choosing sides in the political circus for fear of offending a certain section of our loyal readership?
It’s a jungle out there. But that doesn’t take away from the beauty of stories like Tanner’s first ocean experience (p4), Plett’s pristine beaches (p5), great community projects and young sports stars achieving top honours on a national scale (p6), a local practitioner helping to save a teenager’s sense of hearing (p11), or the fact that the incredibly successful Knysna Motor Show benefits a plethora of deserving local charities.
‘Nough said, already. We are sorry to see you go. - Eds.)

No ‘fear or confusion’ over CXpress editorial integrity

This letter serves to give my full support to the stance taken by the editors of CXPRESS in publishing stories of public interest and importance regarding South Africa’s political parties.
And they put forward an excellent defence of why they should continue to do so. [Turn to page 11 of the April 18 edition at www.cxpress.co.za and read ‘EFF cover causes fear and confusion’.]
This country has significant political, socio-economic and environmental challenges to deal with. Not all, but many can be traced to the ravages of our past; the twin horrors of colonialism and Apartheid.
The EFF and what they stand for are a direct manifestation of these, and to ignore or attempt to censor their views is senseless and displays a dangerous lack of insight into the politics of today.
We have no chance of a peaceful resolution to our challenges if history is denied, and some are barred from the discussion.
As a source of communicating relevant and interesting information to the community, CXPRESS does great work.
Ian Michler, The Crags
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I can understand your correspondent’s fears regarding Julius Malema’s rantings, but his complaint is a classic example of attacking the messenger and not the guilty party.
First of all, we must realise that Malema is speaking to a specific group and using them for his own gain - in this case to further his political career.
This he does quite well, in fact to such an extent that his party has been dictating policy to the ANC, and like a meek lapdog, the ruling party has tagged along. To continue the metaphor, it has become a case of the tail wagging the dog.
Remember that those who follow Malema have absolutely nothing to lose, so expropriating land without compensation must sound like receiving manna from heaven.
But let us be realistic about Malema’s rantings. His grasp and understanding of history are as bad as his prowess in carpentry.
He couldn’t drive a nail in straight and neither can he substantiate his take on history, but unfortunately his audience has an equal lack of understanding and believes every word he utters - and this is why he is dangerous.
To appeal to the very poor and landless is his strategy and in this he excels.
For the life of me, I cannot fathom how he can say that land ownership can give you respect. If that were the case, Malema would have the utmost respect for land owners such as Johann Rupert and other billionaires!
This is, of course, not the case.
Before land can be expropriated willy-nilly, the ANC should first get its house in order by sacking those who have been in charge of land transformation during Jacob Zuma’s tenure as their efforts have come to nil.
What has happened to the over 4,000 farms that the government has already obtained through the willing seller, willing buyer method? Why does the government not give title deeds to the beneficiaries of land formerly held by whites?
And remember, that according to EFF policy, the land given to landless blacks will not belong to them; it will belong to the (EFF) government! There will be no private land ownership under the EFF.
Cyril Ramaphosa is far too wily to fall for Malema’s tricks, so I believe his posturing is simply paying lip service to Malema’s ideals so that the ANC can garner more votes.
GN Nefdt, Johannesburg