The guilty are afraid

THE media is the watchdog of society and has carried out that role with commendable excellence in recent years here.

It has nobly stood up to the ruling classes in exposing rampant corruption, nepotism and greed.

The SACP's support of a suggestion that South Africa needs a tribunal instead of the Media Ombudsman is surprising, or perhaps not, since its leader was exposed for staying at a luxury hotel at taxpayers' expense.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande is fond of singing that his mother was a kitchen girl and his father a garden boy. We do not doubt his struggle credentials but we do question why his party is so ready to hide behind a tribunal that might be packed with political party yes-men.

Ombudsman Joe Thloloe is qualified and good at his job. He has ruled impartially on all complaints passing his desk.

This makes the recent attack on the media seem like a desire for its opponents to cloak their shenanigans. The political parties carry the burden of leading, developing the state as well as breeding hegemony.

The media on the other hand guards the consensus of society regarding its political and moral code which is enshrined in the Constitution.

An attack on the media suggests that politicians fear it and would rather rule without prying eyes.

A prying, vigilant media is what South Africa needs more than the dubious chant of a political party that passes comment too readily and too often to have fully interrogated any question.