Media must build, not harm democracy

There has been extensive media coverage about the election date. Listening to a radio station recently while the ANC's Carl Niehaus was a guest, the radio host enquired when the election would take place. Niehaus, quite correctly, said that it was not up to the ANC to decide on this, but up to the president in consultation with the IEC. This is the law.

There has been extensive media coverage about the election date. Listening to a radio station recently while the ANC's Carl Niehaus was a guest, the radio host enquired when the election would take place. Niehaus, quite correctly, said that it was not up to the ANC to decide on this, but up to the president in consultation with the IEC. This is the law.

But the presenter practically pooh-poohed the reply by saying that the ANC can decide as the majority party. This attitude is very dangerous, when the dividing line between party and state becomes blurred. History proves this and Zimbabwe is the latest example.

The media plays a vital and even educational role in these issues. But creating dangerous perceptions does nothing to build our relatively young democracy. In fact, it only does damage.

Manny de Freitas, DA councillor: City of Johannesburg

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