MBABANE: Army Commander Jeffery Sipho Shabalala’s nude pictures will not be published as they are not of public interest.
This was revealed by Swaziland News editor Zweli Martin Dlamini who emphasized on the importance of striking a balance between the public interest and the Commander’s rights to human dignity and privacy.
The editor published one picture where the Commander was inside a room at Summerfield dressed in his army uniform, he said ethically, he cannot go beyond that picture in far as the private life of the Commander is concerned.
Dlamini said in as much as the evidence was overwhelming, as a journalist he must reports in line with journalism ethics and relevant laws that promote human rights even if the person implicated is a public figure.
“Journalism is a very respectable profession guided by ethics to ensure public confidence. Even if you can get such information, you must first take into account the fact that online media is accessible even to children, you must also consider the children of the person implicated particularly where the matter appears to be purely private and will not add value in the public discourse. In this regard, the nude pictures of the Army Commander do not change anything to the challenges we are facing as a country hence we will publish only the issues of public interest contained in the bundle of evidence we have and protect his nude pictures”, said the editor.
About a week ago, the editor said he would analyse the evidence and take an appropriate decision on whether to publish the nude pictures or not.
Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala