THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC AND THE MEDIA

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The tour of the president to visit project sites has been accompanied by references to the friction that exists due to things that are said or amplified through the media. According to him, freedom of expression is being abused and he will put a stop to it. He did indicate to his audience that democracy is getting out of hand and he has to put a stop to it.

How he is going to do that is precisely what he should revisit. According to him, he will get the inspector general of police to arrest and detain the person who violates freedom of expression.

When the president speaks he does not disregard the separation of powers. It is the duty of the courts to try cases and the duty of the police to act according to the text of the law. When the president speaks, it is taken more as a fact than an opinion. Consequently, any mention of the inspector general of police may undermine the integrity of the office.

In a genuine democratic state, the police must act according to the dictates of the law. Those who have complaints will lodge them and the police will arrest people based on reasonable suspicion that the person has committed an offence or is about to commit an offence. The police are supposed to act professionally without fear or favour, affection or free will, according to the law and not according to the dictates of the executive or the legislature.

We therefore hope that the integrity and independence of law enforcement officers will be observed and all citizens and residents are supposed to respect the law and defend it without fear or favour affection or ill will.