Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Snuki Zikalala (Phd Bulgaria) on Zimbabwe

Journalist and comedian, Marian Thamm, has written a bitingly funny column for News24 on the musings of Snuki Zikalala, SABC Managing Director of News and Current Affairs about Zimbabwe. Apparently Zikalala announced on the radio on Sunday that the SABC was planning to open a bureau in Zimbabwe in a few months' time to tell the “real” story of Zimbabwe.

Thamm takes up the story:

At one point Herr Doktor Zikalala told Maggs; "For instance people say there is no food in Zimbabwe but this is nonsense. There is food, it's just very expensive."

I waited for Maggs to burst out laughing, as I was about to do. And then my stomach turned as I realised Zikalala was serious, dead serious.

As serious as he was in 2005 after the Zimbabwean parliamentary elections when he told members of his SABC editorial staff that it was a lie that there was no food in Zimbabwe and that people were starving.

Back then he had told a group of journalists (and others) that during his stay in the Sheraton in Harare he had in fact enjoyed freshly baked bread rolls daily. He added that he had also had no trouble ordering Johnny Walker Black and even mineral water. And what's more, he insisted triumphantly, he had even got room service to bring it to him so what the hell was everyone on about?

Of course, that's the answer, why didn't we think of it! Zimbabweans just need to ring the Sheraton's room service to solve their food problems!

This in the same week that the Star kicked off a series by journalist Fiona Farr, who snuck into Zim as an Irish tourist over the Easter holidays. Talking to ordinary Zimbabweans Farr found deprivation, fear and a deep terror of speaking out against ZANU-PF or Mugabe. "It's on the brink of becoming a second Ethiopia," she told Gwala with regard levels of starvation, particularly in rural areas.

I wonder what Zikalala thinks is the "real" story about South Africa and to what extent he thinks the mainstream media gets it wrong?


Anonymous said...

I am glad you brought this up as I heard a very disturbing interview on Safm on Sunday morning with the Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the MDC - the interviewer was Tsepiso Makwetla. Unfortunately I didn't hear the first part introducing the clip but Tsepiso asked him whether he had provoked the police into beating him. His answer was that he was surrounded by 500 armed policemen who were beating his colleagues up so it was unlikely he would have been provocative. the interviewer didnt seem to believe him and asked him again about three times!! Do you think the good doctor is now writing interviewers' questions now that the blacklist has gone - has it gone??

Anonymous said...

Zikalala holds a BA Hons. (industrial sociology) from Wits University, and an MA and PhD, both in journalism, from Sofia University, Bulgaria. So I fail to understand why you call him "Herr Doktor".

Anonymous said...

I think the 'Herr Doktor' appellation fits Snuki perfectly. Zikalala acts as though the SABC is his personal fiefdom, and only his news perspective is allowed onto the airwaves. Independent journalism is a casualty of the snukification of the SABC news department.

Pierre de Vos said...

I do not call him "Herr Doktor" - the author I am quoting calls him that. I assume she is suggesting that Mr Zikalala is a propaganda commisar in the vein of Herr Doktor Goebbels of the Nazi Regime. I do draw attention to his Phd from Bulgaria in an attempt to ridicule Mr Zikalala. This is because he obtained it at a time when Bulgaria was not an open and democratic society - when freedom of expression was severely limited by the Communist Party in charge. For those who watch SABC TV news and are familiar with the content of the Sisulu/Marcus report the irony should be obvious....

Anonymous said...

has anyone seen snoekie's PhD thesis?