Saturday, March 25, 2006

Calls for the protection of Zuma accuser’s rights

The public protector, the Gender Commission and the South African Human Rights Commission have expressed concern over the conduct of former deputy president Jacob Zuma’s supporters and media coverage of his rape trial. According to reports the three bodies, referring to themselves as the C9s, met on Friday the 24th of March to discuss events around the trial. This came after they received several complaints from the public. The C9s condemn the burning of photographs of the complainant in the rape trial, and insults to her from some of Zuma supporters outside the Johannesburg High Court. The Gender Commission met the Gauteng police commissioner to ensure that complaints about some of the supporters were attended to. The C9s say while they respect the right of the media to report on the trial, they are worried about how some sectors of the media have covered the trial. They say some coverage have a tendency to belittle sexual offences. The C9s add that they will seek to engage editors in order to ensure that the media conducts itself in a more responsible manner.

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