Duduzane Zuma. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE
Duduzane Zuma. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE

For a show that ostensibly has its finger on the pulse of the country, SABC3’s Trending SA missed the mark by a country mile when it invited "accomplished businessman" Duduzane Zuma to "talk politics, his upcoming business ventures and how it feels to be the son of former president Jacob Zuma".

Zuma the Younger is, of course, secure in comfort in Dubai, where he owns an R18m pad in the Burj Khalifa — purchased with the assistance of the Guptas, and at a decent distance from the grasping arms of the National Prosecuting Authority.

Trending SA doubled down on its sycophantic inanity with an Instagram teaser of Zuma answering such "curious and pertinent" questions as: "What is the biggest lie you’ve ever told?" (Spoiler: it apparently has less to do with R600m and a bag of cash than it has with queasy guts. Sad, but strangely apt.)

If this wasn’t enough to get the nation cranking up the old analogue TV, perhaps the thought of what wisdom the business luminary could offer would have done so. Just imagine: "How I cashed in on crony capitalism — and you can too"; "How to buy friends and influence governments: a user’s guide"; "Good to great: how some first sons make the leap to Saxonwold".

There’s a reason the public has turned to streaming services — the SABC isn’t just struggling financially; it has a content deficit too. The sycophantic sanitising of Zuma is symptomatic of this. That the broadcaster is now asking streaming viewers to pay TV licences shows just how out of touch it has become.

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