Zuma Shocked as Ngcuka Meets Editors
Deputy president Jacob Zuma said on Monday he was shocked and disturbed by media reports of a meeting between black editors and the National Director for Public Prosecutors, Bulelani Ngcuka, in July.
"According to reports of the secret meeting, the National Director allegedly discussed cases he was investigating and imparted to the editors and senior journalists, in a very malicious and despicable manner, untruthful information about me," Zuma said in a statement released on Monday afternoon.
"He is also reported to have spoken about other individuals, the ANC and its Youth League."
Zuma said the briefing was "clearly designed" to spread rumours and create prejudice and to influence reporting on the cases.
"This conduct was in contravention of the confidentiality that is required in all investigations, in terms of the laws of the land. It also contravened the fundamental principle that individuals are innocent until or unless found guilty."
He had been unfairly treated by Ngcuka and was the victim of a smear campaign through the media, Zuma said.
"I have previously raised my very serious concerns and objections to methods used to conduct the investigation and questioned the real motives of the investigation.
"Therefore the question still remains as to what was and still is the real motive of the campaign against me, which now seems to be including the ANC."
Business Day editor Peter Bruce mentioned the meeting between the black editors and Ngcuka in his column on Monday.
Other senior black editors over the past weeks have confirmed that the meeting took place. They have also defended their actions in editorial comments.
With acknowledgements to Sapa and iafrica.com.