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Story on Zuma’s Jewish grandchild sensationalist lashon hara

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“What do Presidents Donald Trump and Jacob Zuma have in common?” This (on last week’s front page) - was meant to pique readers’ interests - and it probably did.
by Michele Engelberg, Johannesburg | Jun 15, 2017

But it is misleading… and even in poor taste.

The full-page article explains that both have Jewish grandchildren. But the similarities end there. The circumstances are as different as chalk and cheese. Trump’s high-profile daughter, Ivanka, converted to Orthodox Judaism, is married and has three legitimate children. President Trump refers to them with admiration and love.

In the case of Jacob Zuma’s Jewish grandchild, he may not even know that this child exists - among his 22 (plus?) children and who knows how many grandchildren. There seems to be no relationship.

Whereas I am usually happy for my family to read the Jewish Report, I was uncomfortable with this article because the values are not ones that I espouse: premarital and unprotected intercourse, out of wedlock pregnancy with the “playboy” son of a corrupt president, who is on the gravy train, including relationships with the Gupta family.

He doesn’t seem interested in providing for this child and she seems to have to scrape by and pressurise him for any support - despite the millions that he has and that his family have organised for themselves…

In the same issue of Jewish Report was a letter about this Duduzane (Zuma’s son) and the Dubai flat he purchased with questionable funding. This reads like a soap opera.

But really: Who cares? Why was this article printed? It has the status of a cheap gossip and sensationalist supermarket tabloid. In Jewish terminology: lashon hara!

Two weeks ago the Jewish Report published an article about the tragedy that befell a young high school learner in our community. I noticed in the editor’s column of last week that the paper did not publish another article about this recent tragedy, saying “the SA Jewish Report will not get in the way of the family’s privacy”.

While these two stories are very different, this single mother is dealing with her own struggles and took precautions to protect her (and her child’s) privacy. Why wasn’t that respected by this paper? Why add to the challenges that she already has to deal with?

Not a worthy article for the Jewish Report.. 

Our role at the Jewish Report is to provide news of interest to and involving the community to the community, to hold to account the leadership of the community etc. This story is of real interest to our community as it shows that there is blood link now between our community and President Jacob Zuma. We were very cautious not to identify the woman and child concerned so as not to cause any harm or dispersions on her or her son, thereby protecting her privacy and integrity. – Editor  


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