In this era of fake news, alternative facts, lies, misspeaking, and smearing, one is compelled to manage news and reporting about oneself hands-on. Clearly, as today’s Sunday Times story – Pro-Zuma church group in disarray – confirms, one dares not trust the media with one’s story; with what happens to one; with what one does; with one’s image; with one’s reputation.
Journalist Aphiwe Deklerk has produced a one-sided report on a spurious attack on the African
Transformation Movement, as if he had not had a velleity of a response from the ATM. In fact, Deklerk closes what apparently passes for journalism at the Sunday Times, already so besmirched by “misspeaking, that ATM President Vuyo Zungula had not replied to questions – had not beckoned the demand of the large South African Sunday. Indeed, an interview with the spokesperson, Ms Mandisa Mashiya provided all the information Deklerk sought, and then some, as the reporter had been provided even additional data and intelligence to put the matter before his readers in a manner that should have concluded what the president put on record in a clear and concise media statement on Saturday evening. Had Deklerk even read the statement, and if so, had he the wherewithal to comprehend, he would have learned
- That the so called Conference of the SACMCC held on 16 and 17 April 2019 was illegitimate and unconstitutional as the Secretary General, Apostle Mxolisi Phakathi, and the President, Prof. Caesar Nongqunga, had no knowledge of its constitution and how it was convened.
- That President Vuyolwethu Zungula, the current President of the ATM, was mandated to facilitate the formation and registration of the ATC.
- That Apostle Bonisile Ngqulwana was directly involved at all material times during the change of the name from ATC to ATM.
- That all people who were members of the ATC automatically became members of the ATM due to the cession of the usage of the ATC name as per the IEC.
- That the statement, therefore, that there was a conference of the SACMC/ATC is far-fetched and inconceivable.
- That Ngqulwana, who claims to be the Secretary General of the SACMC, is not even a member of the council, as the council does not have individual members but member churches. On 26 July 2018, the TACC that had deployed him to represent the church had recalled him and replaced him with Apostle Phakathi – in response to Ngqulwana’s own request to be relieved of his work as he was not coping with his studies. His resignation letter is available at his member Church, the TACC.
- That Ngqulwana has demonstrated that he is confused, and that he contradicts himself as he has accepted his nomination to the National Assembly List of the ATM, and is therefore an ATM candidate.
- That the utterance that the ATM has fraudulently misrepresented itself as the ATC is void of basis and is nonsensical, and it is therefore viewed as intended to defame and endanger the good name and reputation of the ATM, something that cannot be achieved by Ngqulwana and those who have sent him, if any.
- That the ATM must conclude the statement by the so-called Council represented by Ngqulwana as propaganda; a mere cloak and shame to discredit the ATM.
- That any attempts by the Ngqulwana group to deregister the ATM will be vigorously defended. The African Transformation Movement therefore remains confident of victory in the 2019 general elections and our base and ground remains unshaken, despite the various attempts to destabilise our ground.
The ATM deplores the poor quality of journalism generally, and the particular brand of outré reporting arrogating as journalism of the Sunday Times, in these final days leading to a critical poll on May 8.
At this time the ATM also wishes to respond to the media refrains “pro-Zuma” and “Mzwanele Manyi’s party” when reporting on the ATM. Indolent reporters rely on these easily congested, motherhood and milk tart add on qualifiers when reflection more often than not proves to be too cumbersome an activity as readers are in any event disrespected for effort. The ATM has no relationship with former President Zuma. And although Mr Manyi is a respected member, it is not “Manyi’s ATM”. Of course the media knows this. But why would reporters attempt to find apposite and fresh lines when clichés, banalities, and platitudes are readily available and consumable? Some respect please – if not for the ATM, then for your long suffering – paying, mind – readers, O, Fourth Estate!
The ATM can only trust that editors and media bosses will redouble their vigilance in ensuring that voters, already confused by unattainable repeated election promises by the ATM’s most prominent opponents acting as enemies, will not further be bewildered by irresponsible reporting.