By Falles Kamanga
The public has, in the past three weeks, seen a flurry of bad, inaccurate, one-sided, hateful, disdainful and vile articles and headlines against Prophet Shepherd Bushiri published, mostly, by City Press Newspaper.
Most of these stories, not all of them, have been written by a female reporter for City Press Newspaper named Ntombizodwa Makhoba [who I will call Ntombi].
Let me make it clear.
Prophet Bushiri—due to the accident that happened at his church and, also, his arrest—has been a hot news topic lately. The question, then, could be: Why is my article centered on City Press Newspaper only and, specifically, on a reporter called Ntombi?
Well, the answer is simple: I have done my analysis of how different media houses have been covering Bushiri and I have noted something sinister with City Press and specifically Ntombi.
From January to date, City Press has done several articles attacking Bushiri’s persona and character and below is what I have noted:
- None of their articles has a voice of Bushiri in it. As honest, fair and balanced journalism demands, City Press makes a series of accusations of Bushiri without even thinking of getting his side of story. Is this journalism?
- In all their stories, they make outlandish accusations of Bushiri using faceless and nameless sources. All their sources are anonymous. Is this journalism?
- In some of their stories, they go as far as cropping Bushiri’s pictures, putting him with people he wasn’t with, just to make their story real. Is this journalism?
- In other stories about ECG church, they always twist facts to ensure that it is not the story of the church, but Bushiri. Even in an incident involving two ECG members somewhere in Ndola, Zambia, or Lephalele in Limpopo, they will blame and accuse Bushiri for it. Is this journalism?
- In another story, done by Ntombi, she is accusing Bushiri of deterring her to get into Malawi to find out more about Bushiri. She writes in her article that she went to Malawi and immigration officials there sent back because she did not meet requirements to enter Malawi. How does that become a Bushiri issue? And is this journalism?
The question one would ask why is City Press and its Ntombi do all this against Bushiri? Or what has Bushiri done to City Press and its Ntombi to deserve such an apparent campaign to destroy his name and the ministry he founded and heads?
To get to the core of this, one needs to understand what City Press Newspaper is, what does it stands and what has always been their mission as a newspaper.
City Press Newspaper is run by Media24, a print media arm of the South African media company Naspers. Naspers is an ALL-WHITE OWNED, broad-based multinational internet and media group headquartered in South Africa, offering services in more than 130 countries. Through Media24, Naspers do not just own City Press. They also own other South Africa’s key media houses such as News24, Daily Sun, Netwerk 24 and BloedNews.
Besides that, Naspers also have a bigger stake in another ALL-WHITE OWNED media company in South Africa, Tiso Blackstar Group. Tiso Blackstar Group owns several South Africa’s media houses such as the Sunday Times, Business Day, Sowetan, Daily Dispatch, Sunday World, Times LIVE, 702, Eye Witness News and Cape Radio.
From this, what you are getting is that CITY PRESS is just one of the many mouthpieces of what, in South Africa, is known as the WHITE MONOPOLY CAPITAL (WMC)—a grouping of a handful rich and powerful white businessmen who, through their larger stake in different major companies, controls the entire economy of South Africa.
In other words, the fight here is not necessarily between City Press and Bushiri. Rather between WMC and Bushiri. City Press has just been chosen as a trusted errand boy, with Ntombi on the front, to carry out their master’s mission.
Now, you need to understand that the agenda of WMC is two-fold: One, to maintain the ALL-WHITE OWNED grip on South Africa’s economy; and two, destroy any attempt by a successful black person to have too much unifying influence on the black community.
Now here is why WMC isn’t comfortable with Bushiri.
Bushiri is a young man born with a gift of success. At 36, he has chalked an enviable business success and, most importantly, he has built a reckoned spiritual empire that is unifying black people under the roof of his word and influence.
What WMC doesn’t like about Bushiri is not necessary his success in business and in the ministry. Their greatest fear is that Bushiri is an independent force unifying black people under his influence. They know he has the power, just at the stroke of his word, to direct black people towards a direction that would shake the foundations of WMC. Are you getting the point there?
WMC controls black people, just like apartheid days, by keep them divided, by making them hate each other, yes, by ensuring that black don’t have a common position on issues.
Bushiri’s capacity to attract and speak to more than 60 000 people every week, and even more than that through his media, is a pressing threat to WMC’s goals of keeping black people divided.
This is the main reason WMC, through its errand boy City Press, are on a well-funded grand scheme to dirten and tarnish his image so that black people see him as a problem, not a solution.
And Ntombi is one on the frontlines!