Tag Archives: freedom of expression

Swazi court strikes the balance between protecting freedom of expression and national security

Last Friday, the Swaziland High Court handed down a significant judgment on the rights to freedom of expression in the context of the protection of national security. The court struck down a number of provisions in the Sedition and Subversive Activities and Suppression of Terrorism Acts on the grounds that they unjustifiably limited the rights…

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Angola can no longer be regarded as a democracy

By Caroline James Freedom of expression and association suffered another blow in Angola recently with the conviction of 17 young activists. These activists were sentenced to jail terms of between two and eight years after being convicted of various offences against state security in connection with their participation at a gathering in which their dissatisfaction…

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Under fire SADC media must build alliances with citizens

The recent release of veteran journalist and editor Bheki Makhubu from a Swaziland jail should have been a momentous occasion for media freedom and freedom of expression activists in southern Africa. Instead, it has turned out to be a missed opportunity to inspire confidence, re-energise practitioners and consumers alike, and call the bluff on repressive…

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5 simple things that could get you arrested in Angola

By Muluka Miti-Drummond When people think of Angola many think of the 27-year-long civil war that ended in 2002. Some might even think of oil and diamonds. And if you know anything about African presidents, you’ll probably think of José Eduardo dos Santos, the current president of Angola and Africa’s second longest serving president. What…

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What’s with the heavy-handed crackdown on free speech in Swaziland?

By Caroline James Remembering Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu — one year on… Can you remember what you were doing 365 days ago? It was the day after St Patrick’s Day, so that might jog some memories, but for most of us, it was just another day. For Thulani Maseko, Bheki Makhubu and their families,…

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Brett Bailey must choose – respect Africa or be damned!

There is a lot of consternation in some quarters following the cancellation of Brett Bailey’s visual arts show, Exhibit B, which purports to give insight into the dehumanisation and violent brutality of Africans by colonialism. Many of the supporters are aggrieved that the work of this over-rated and provocative white African artist has allegedly being…

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The right to insult

I am just a government funk and perhaps have no business to be talk about the much-vaunted right to artistic freedom of expression. Working for the state, it is presumed that I support the Secrecy Bill and desire to suppress freedom of expression. But I, too, am a citizen of this nation-in-the-making with rights. Also,…

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Of clowns, covert racism and whitewashing black concerns

The furore over the cartoon depicting the ANC parliamentarians and their electorate as a bunch of inept clowns is indicative of how far we still have to go in terms of embedded and unconscious racism in South Africa. There is nothing wrong with critiquing government in satirical depictions, but there is something horribly wrong when…

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So we booed the president…

By Melo Magolego On December 10, 2013, I, like thousands of others, descended on the pavements of Johannesburg. We made a long walk, a pilgrimage to the memorial of uTata Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium. As we bore witness to the dignitaries present, the unrelenting rain made us feel as though we were in a…

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On voluntary tech servitude

I’m one of the many Android users who recently installed the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) application on their phone. Big deal. Doing this as I did, however, on the day Germany and Brazil were introducing a draft resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age at the UN General Assembly, I found myself confronting…

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