William Saunderson-Meyer
William Saunderson-Meyer

Zuma grabs for a see-through fig leaf

The Protection of State Information Bill, dubbed the Secrecy Bill, is misnamed on both counts. Contrary to the labels, it will neither assure the safety of critical state information as its proponents claim, nor muzzle the media as its opponents fear.

Let’s start with the fact that during the more than two years that the Bill has been mired in public protest and parliamentary committees, no one has articulated a convincing need for the legislation, other than as part of the process to replace apartheid era laws.

No criminal proceedings against feckless journalists for illegally publishing state information have foundered due to the absence of the new legislation. Actually, there have been no criminal charges against journalists for stolen information for decades, period.

Rather, the Bill, passed by the National Council of Provinces this week, is a retreat by the African National Congress from its own ideals of government transparency and freedom of expression. While it has been moderated in response to public pressure, the Bill still has serious flaws, not the least of those being that the penalties for transgression are more swinging than those of the National Party’s Protection of Information Act of 1982 – up to 25 years in jail, as opposed to 10.

As media attorneys have pointed out, while every state needs to protect critical security information, the Bill shares some of the worst characteristics of its predecessor of three decades ago, such as overbroad definitions of what the national interest and national security are, and the lack of oversight over what will be classified.

And it is, in any case, all in vain. In an electronically borderless world – think Wikileaks – there is no way that the South African government is going to prevent with this Bill the media from disseminating damaging information.

As ANC eminent gris Pallo Jordan warned two years ago, attempting to muzzle the modern media is a “fool’s errand” in the light of the internet. The ANC was backing itself into a “lose-lose situation” where it was at risk of losing its credibility on media freedom and losing a constitutional challenge, and “if the movement pursues this path … those who want to rubbish us will have every right to do so”.

It is, of course, not state secrets that President Jacob Zuma’s government is trying to protect. Not unless you define, as his government does, the use of hundreds of millions of rands on his private home, as a state secret. Not unless you define, as his government does, the possible subverting of the National Prosecuting Authority to save him from criminal charges for corruption, as a state secret.

It’s not about state secrets, it’s about embarrassing leaks – most often from one or another ANC faction, trying to sideline its rivals – and about whistleblowers who lay bare layer upon layer of cronyism and corruption, to which the government would rather turn a blind eye.

There has been resistance from within the tripartite alliance, from the Congress of SA Trade Unions, and within the ANC itself. ANC MPs Ben Turok and Gloria Borman risked expulsion from the party when last year they were the only two on the government benches to vote against the Bill. That was also the first time that every opposition party voted against an ANC measure.

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, who prepared a milder version of the Bill in former president Thabo Mbeki’s government, has been particularly outspoken, saying that the Bill had forced him to become a “social activist”. Joining the Right2Know protests outside Parliament, he slated the Bill as being product of a “security paranoia” that made him fear for the Constitution and the country.

The Bill might become an Act, but has about as much chance of shielding Zuma and the ANC’s dark secrets as Blade Nzimande’s fawning proposal of a law to “protect the dignity” of the president would have of stopping the unkind sniggers.


  • Zuma’s creaky legislative edifice under siege from gravity
  • Age of Truth…revolution betrayed?
  • The flood caused by opening the Guptagate
  • A parliament that doesn’t respect itself
    • The Dave Harris Propaganda Show

      What! How can you point out that the ANC’s Secrecy Bill is a totalitarian act from a Stalinist regime….not that I have the energy or intellect to respond to any of your arguments…But I will attack the writer with a few worn-out racist cliches and create a few strawman arguments to attack…as I always do.

    • http://paulwhelanwriting.blogspot.com Paul Whelan

      I hope you are right about this, William. Won’t it frighten off all the outspoken dailies and Sundies? How many SAns are on the Internet? OK, they can get together and arrange a protest march easily enough by email, but that’s still lacks a lot in overall publicity terms. And if the bill passes, won’t policing the Internet be next?

      Why risk it? Rather kill this serpent in the shell.

    • http://southafricana.blogspot.com Dave Harris

      Note that the POSIB is an example of democracy in action, a concept you rabid DA (National Party 2.0) supporters will NEVER understand.

      By continuing to call it the “Secrecy Bill” and comparing it to your old National Party’s draconian legislation, shows your underhanded tactics to spread fear and misinformation. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protection_of_State_Information_Bill for a more balanced perspective of this bill.

      POSIB is a long overdue and brings our national security laws in line with most open democracies around the world who btw have far more stringent laws!!! However, certain forces within our country, undoubtedly also supported by certain foreign powers, do not have the best interests of our democracy at heart and created hysteria, as you are doing, against the bill. In fact, how do you explain that there were more votes in parliament for this bill than the number protesters on the street on “Black Tuesday”?!!! The protests were bankrolled by the DA and their sidekicks – Right2Know , our corporate media mafia and certain NGOs and wealthy individuals.

      Praising Wikileaks shows ignorance and shortsightedness but maybe the fate of that hypocrite Jullian Assange will give you a dose of reality hey? 😉

      Our white tribal DA and their sidekicks with their “media attorneys”, trying to gut the bill, are on a fool’s errand. This bill, well aligned with our Constitution and other democracies is a done deal!!!

    • Peter L

      You are spot on about the futility of the bill against the background of an electronically broderless world.

      Could the next step be Chinese and Iranian style clampdowns on Internet service providers to blok access to “undesirable” URL’s?

      Thank heavens (and the ANC back in the period 1990 – 1994) for the constitution.

      Many politicians (De Klerk and Mandela for a start) have a legal background – the adversarial nature of the legal profession is ideal preparation for a life in politics – the Nats were not stupid at CODESA – their top legal minds probably said “hey, we need a rock solid constitution so that the next governments cannot get away with the kind of abuses that we have perpetrated over the last 46 years”

    • jandr0

      The ANC talks democracy, but walks autocracy.

      Emotional people are still fooled by the democracy “talk” of the ANC, but over time will realise the AUTOCRATIC “walk” of the current ANC is revealing their true nature.

      This ANC is not your mother’s ANC any more.

      Plus, most everything that they claim to have “delivered” is being done by consumption of capital, which is eroding South Africa’s productivity and competitiveness, and making us all poorer.

      They have done very little to REALLY deliver to the poor. Claiming success in the limited “number of houses” and “access to water” delivered is not good enough, because they should have delivered much, much more – yet didn’t because of nepotism, inefficiency and sheer incompetence – while at the same time squandering the capital goods that were available (poor maintenance and management at ESKOM, Telkom, state hospitals, schools, etc.).

      In more common language it is called “killing the goose that lays the eggs.” Then the ANC takes the choicest parts of meat for connected cadres, but says to the voters: “Oh, look, we are wonderful, vote for us, look at the goose legs and pieces of neck we provided.”

      However, the goose is slowly dying, and soon no more goose and no eggs.

      And to stop people seeing this, let’s have a secrecy bill.

      Only the rabidly blind ANC loyalists fail to see this mismanagement and self-enrichment of ANC fat-cats at the expense of the people of South Africa.

    • Reducto

      Harris, it is apparent to everyone which side of the divide is terrified of this matter going to the Constitutional Court. You will be an unhappy chappy when it does.

    • Graham

      There is a reason our Constitution is regarded among the best in the world – so that naughty politicians cannot push through legislation to cover their tracks. We can thank the previous ANC leaders for that!

      So far the ANC cannot provide solid reasons how this bill (in the current form) will strengthen democracy.

    • ian shaw

      “…. the so-called rabidly blind ANC loyalists do not fail to see what is quite obvious. the rapidlyblind ANC loyalists ahve a vested interest in this system of patronage and nepotism. They are definitely not stupid. On the other hand, the really poor rural people can easily be persuaded or threatened (for example they will lose their , social grants) and that’s why they “democratically” follow. The only way this kleptocracy will end is whenever the goose thet lays the golden egg will finally refuse to lay any eggs at all.

    • Peter L

      Quote “The protests were bankrolled by the DA and their sidekicks – Right2Know , our corporate media mafia and certain NGOs and wealthy individuals.”

      A VERY prominent group in the various protestations against POIB is ANC alliance partner COSATU.

      Now, Dave, surely you are not suggesting that Cosatu are in the pockets / payroll of corporate SA, are you?

      Cyril? Tokyo?

      The types of countries that have POIB laws are Burma (Not Myanmar) Iran, Russia and Venezuela.

      Not exactly “open democracies,” DD.

      So DA supporters are always “rabid” and “tribal”, are they?.
      Last I heard, Zille was not the one prancing around in Leopard skin loincloths (and “traditional” Nike takkies!) carrying a Spear and assegai.

      Please don’t be so coy – if you know the identity of these “certain certain forces within our country, undoubtedly also supported by certain foreign powers,”, please name them and cite your sources.

      FACTS, please, Dave, not “rabid” conjecture or “tribal” flights of fantasy.

      Personally, I suspect the “third force” – the “usual suspects” fingered by rabid and tribal ANC supporters when all else fails.

    • Tofolux

      @WSM, its quite amazing that you are able to mislead when you once again put a debate. To my mind, the principle in putting a debate is premised on facts. If this principle is ignored, then there is no credibility in a false debate. If this is acceptable to you and yours then clearly one must raise the question of the sheer and shameless hypocrisy. Also, you have failed to mention that the ad-hoc committee of the NCOP embarked on many hearings and welcomed all submissions. You also fail to mention that all the critiscms was taken on board and this resulted in 850 amendments to the bill. This surely shows that the ”openness and transparency” that you moot has been effected. It is beyond me that you claim that there is not a ”convincing need” to have this bill. It cannot be that it is a mere changing of an apartheid bill of 1962. Part of the convincing needs are 1. SA’s who find that are married or divorced to persons whom they have no knowledge of. 2. Yr identity being stolen by someone who now has your details 3. You find that you have been declared deceased. 4. Your education credentials stolen 5. Your matric information changed 6. Cyberspace activity. 7.The need to Defend and protect the State and its citizenry etc etc. It is misleading to sell this bill as if it affects media and journalists only. It doesnt becos we are all equal before the law per laws in Const and Bill of Rights. Also, how can a need to protect your child on social medium not be a priority?

    • http://richyfreebies.tumblr.com/ Rick

      You can certainly see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.

    • Belle

      @Jandr0 “Only the rabidly blind ANC loyalists fail to see this mismanagement and self-enrichment of ANC fat-cats at the expense of the people of South Africa.”

      I couldn’t agree more! The Secrecy Bill is just another way for the ANC to continue their exploitation of the people. We are paying more than enough tax, there are enough funds for the country to run smoothly. But rather than use these funds to enrich the country and its people, the government uses it to fill their pockets. We are moving more towards totalitarianism than democracy.

    • ntozakhona

      The judgement by the honourable Dennis Davis awakened many , academics and jurists in South Africa to the fact that opposition politicians rush to try and achieve in the courts what they fail to achieve through democratic political contest. It must be conceded that the the curent version of the now NCOP passed Protection Of State Information Bill is a product of political contest.

      The fact that there have not been prosecutions for the leaking of classified information is due to the reluctance of the ANC to use NP-DP parliament sanctioned laws of the 80s. It seeks to create a law that will punish those who will classify acts of corruption and those leaking info on how our security is safeguarded to international mischiefmakers.

      December 01 meanwhile represents Jacob Zuma’s victorious progress against the scourge of HIV and the misguided faction reminiscent of the Marxist Workers Tendencies expelled during Oliver Tambo led ANC, the faction is called Forces of Change which abuses the name of Kgalema Motlanthe.

    • ntozakhona

      We remember how Ronnie Kasrils clapped his chomped hands when parliament was mockingly asked ” How can a virus cause a syndrome?” with regards to the HI virus causing the AID syndrome. Maybe he should have become an activist then.

      Insults have suddenly become parodies and satire. Communists like Judge Arthur Chaskalson and Dr Blade Nzimande have always assisted our society to look at itself and see if we are not abusing each other in the name of western civilisation.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      The whole point of the Bill in the first place is to cause discussion, and then to go to the Constitutional Court to decide.

      Otherwise the people might forget why they have a Constitutional Court.

    • jandr0

      @ntozakhona: So many misconceptions in your post, so let me choose one that stands out for me:

      You say: “December 01 meanwhile represents Jacob Zuma’s victorious progress against the scourge of HIV…”


      The Jacob Zuma that practices unprotected sex?

      That believes having a shower constitutes prevention against HIV?

      Surely you jest!!

    • jandr0

      @ Tofolux: You cite the following as examples why the Secrecy Bill (which is what I call it) is necessary:

      1. SA’s who find that are married or divorced to persons whom they have no knowledge of. 2. Yr identity being stolen by someone who now has your details 3. You find that you have been declared deceased. 4. Your education credentials stolen 5. Your matric information changed 6. Cyberspace activity. 7.The need to Defend and protect the State and its citizenry etc etc.

      The Secrecy Bill should not be the immediate approach to address those issues. If those are major issues (and I have not detected any of those to have been crippling as YET in the public domain), simple accountability is the immediately correct way of addressing it.

      But, the ANC does NOT do accountability. How, in whatever way, can Angie Motshekga still be in cabinet after overseeing a department destroy the learning of thousands upon thousands of children.

      When all around me people tell me how they are being pestered for bribes to get jobs, work awarded, driver’s licenses issued, and so on.

      How can Thulas Nxesi insinuate it is the property people that are charging Public Owrks exorbitant prices? Is he not in charge? Should Public Works not know what are the going rates? Excuses, excuses!

      The ANC is a national shame, and to hide it, they create false bogeymen and a bill (now Act) under false pretences.

      Shame on you for supporting that deceit.

    • Sakharov

      I think the writer is wrong to dismiss the Secrecy Bill only with contempt. Contempt it certainly deserves. But it also deserves alarm, and a strong response. Those who have studied the history of the ANC should know that a communist dictatorship is no idle threat to SA, but a real possibility. The mistake people often make is assuming SA is a normal democracy, and the ANC is a normal political party. Study the history of communist movements globally, and realise that a totalitarian dictatorship is a real threat. Those Czech intellectuals who thought the USSR would turn out to be a benign occupier were rudely awakened. By the time people realise the nature of the movement they are dealing with, it may be too late – and even the appearance of democracy may be long gone.

    • RubinBanana

      When any law which restricts the rights of citizens is presented to Parliament, there is normally a list of examples of what such a law would do to improve things. As far as I can tell, there has been no such list as yet. So it would be safe to assume that the law will only protect our President and his cohorts when they do underhanded things. Such as Inkandla, the Arms Deal and so on.
      So: Let us have some examples of where the law is needed!
      Not that I am holding my breath waiting for such a list. We all know there are no situations requiring such drastic legislation.

    • http://southafricana.blogspot.com Dave Harris

      Firstly, you’re deceitful by calling it the “Secrecy Bill” instead of the PROTECTION OF STATE INFORMATION BILL”. I’m curious as to why choose to use such an underhand tactic to spread misinformation and fear.

      Secondly, when Tofolux took the trouble to point out real examples to prove the need for POISB, all you say is that we all should
      LD be more accountable and don’t need this bill. Let’s do away with traffic laws and make everyone more “accountable”, shall we?

      Thirdly, you then go into a hysterical tirade against our Minister of Education about this fabricated issue of late textbooks peddled by the white tribal DA?! Since when do they care about poor black school kids???! Where else in the world has the Minister of Education been taken to court for late textbook???!!!

    • bewilderbeast

      We won’t need email and desktop PC’s to leak the looting of the kleptocracy. We’ll move to mobile if the ANC tries to block us. Try stopping that, Mr Zuma. mXit, Twitter, WhatsApp, BBM, sms – all on throw-away simcards. We will NOT allow your thieving to go unchallenged. The people WILL remain informed on Compoundla, SANRAL and other lootings.

    • ntozakhona

      Jandro you might as well have bellowed with the cows in your farm or whatever. It is an undeniable fact the lifespan of South Africans has increased from 56 years to 65 years since Zuma took the helm. HIV infection rate has drasticakky reduced, those of us who live in poverty camps called townships have seen yhe collapse of the then bourgeoning funeral undertaker industry, That is what we look at not your malicious gossip.

    • Reducto

      @Harris: “Where else in the world has the Minister of Education been taken to court for late textbook???!!!”

      Where else have textbooks been delivered that late? Where else in the world would someone like Angie still be in the job?

      Despite a court order earlier in the year, textbooks had still not been delivered by October. The department dragged its feet every step of the way. You cannot dispute that court action was necessary.

      We have a justiciable Bill of Rights, which includes a right to education. It is perfectly legitimate to litigate the matter.

      But you are a propaganda troll, who in the fact of facts, will stick to your lies. As has been pointed out by another user in the past, you belong to the Goebbels school of propaganda, repeating a lie often enough in the hope it becomes truth.

    • Peter L

      The 7 justifications that you cite for POIB are all the same thing – identity theft.
      This is an International problem and phenomenon, and we have more than enough laws to effectively deal with the matter – we just need to enforce them.
      This highlights one of the major flaws in SA society – we have many laws – some of them very good, but too many are poorly enforced (traffice, drug smuggling, corruption in the private and public secor, white collar crime in financial services, the list goes on).

      The ANC confuses passing legislation with actually doing something.

      The normal drill when faced with a major problem – sorry – “challenge” (there are no more problems or foul-ups in government any more, just “challenges”) is to pass some legislation, then when nothing is enforced and no progress is made, blame “lack of capacity”.

      Hey, when are you going to take me up on the offer of a drink of wine / supper and interesting evening’s debate?

      @ Dave Harris
      The POIB has been coined the “secrecy bill” plus a few other uncomplimentary names by the media – it catches on, just like JZ’s “compound” / Ranch / Palace in the veld / spread / but not “homestead” (Little house on the Prairie, it aint!) .

      Better to deal in euphemisms, then, is it , where all foul-ups and problems are called “challenges”, unlawful squatters are called informal settlers, beggars and extortionists are called unofficial parking attendants,camps for illegal immigrants are…

    • Tofolux

      @Janroe, at some point we have to be responsible to ourselves and disabuse oneself of “papparazi news”. I gather that you must be an avid read of that gossip magazine “national Enqwotsoeve” and must believe everything that is written there. Clearly some us can seperate gossipmongering from reality and your angry response is nothing but gossip. But once again you have detracted from the subject of this debate so let me get you back on track. Substantively, my SA identity is the most important document for life and the victims of stolen/misused/abuse identity details are those who are poor. Your illogical and insincere comments shows a narrow and selfish disregard for the plight of the poor. But if my citizenry is the only one I have, I expect harsh laws to protect just that. Also we dont have this unusual priviledge of dual citizenship and this cavalier do-not-care-attitude must be a luxury. Also, I wonder how you cannot see that the advent of internet etc was not anticipated in the apartheid bill and how you would deal with the preying of paedophiles eg. Protection of any innocent person is universal and it is incomprehensible that you wouldnt do evrything in yr power to protect. Personally I dont think you have read or engage this Bill. It is obvious that the song you sing is sung from a hymnsheet provided by gossipmongers. There is not one word abt journalists in the bill. Hence I suggest you do yourself a favor and read the Bill. You might be surprised.

    • ConCision

      IF THE TRUTH BE TOLD – but not with The Secrecy Bill
      TRUTH WILL OUT – but not with The Secrecy Bill
      What lies behind the ‘POSIB’
      Is the protection of deceit and lies
      Wasteful spending and incompetence
      And whatever else applies

    • http://southafricana.blogspot.com Dave Harris

      Even your “efficient” apartheid regime, delivered textbooks late on a regular basis. Granted in this case it was later than normal but late delivery of goods is an ongoing battle for any large organization. I will admit that private industry is more efficient with delivery, but we’re speaking of a government department and we all know that all governments throughout the world have inefficiencies. Never in human history has any Minister of Education ever been taken to court for the late delivery of textbooks! It just shows how our judicial system is being abused. Sies!

      @jandr0, Peter L
      Tofolux brings up an important point of identity theft and the vulnerability it presents to our internal and international security. Without POSIB, terrorists could easily use SA as a launchpad to infiltrate other countries. Other countries will be forced to place additional barriers on SA tourists e.g. the UK recently halted automatic granting of visas to SA citizens after 911 making UK visas prohibitively expensive for budget travelers not to mention the additional bureaucracy!!

    • The Creator

      The Bill wasn’t developed under Zuma; the bulk of it came in from Mbeki’s time and was largely drafted under Kasrils’ guidance.

      It’s no big deal. Very little accurate information gets to the public through the very effective filters of the mass media, and no reliable information gets out through the Internet or social media. There’s nothing to worry about. We lost freedom of information long ago, and we have never been allowed to regain it.

    • Reducto

      @Harris: I never said the apartheid regime was efficient. It was anything but efficient, a country that ran on the cheap migrant labour of the majority while dumping them in tiny Bantustans.

      Because you cannot dispute my argument, you now have to resort to putting words in my mouth. This is because you debate like a child.

      “Never in human history has any Minister of Education ever been taken to court for the late delivery of textbooks!”

      Where else in the world have textbooks been delivered 6-10 months late? Where else in the world would Angie still be in the job? Answer me that. You cannot dispute that the department dragged its feet, even after the initial court order.

      “It just shows how our judicial system is being abused. Sies!”

      Socio-economic rights in our Constitution are justiciable. It is perfectly legitimate to litigate the matter.

      So are you going to stop being a childish propaganda troll and attempt to debate like an adult?

    • Mike Green

      Deal with this, Harris – from a thinking man, and not a parrot: http://dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2012-12-03-to-my-generation-listen-listen-very-carefully

    • http://southafricana.blogspot.com Dave Harris

      @Mike Green
      So how come your “thinking man” Jay Naidoo only writes for an elitist magazine like The Daily Maverick (where all the other elitists readily concur with each other – lol) rather than here on Thoughtleader? Maybe if you challenge him to do so, we can have a more robust discussion of his views on this forum. I have a sneaky suspicion that he won’t 😉

    • chincherin chee

      @ Mike Green. Thank you for the excellent link of Jay Naidoo (and as you correctly call “a thinking man”) in the Daily Maverick. A really worthwhile read.

    • Gavin Storrie

      Hey Reducto, Harris doesn’t understand the meaning of words like ‘adult’ and ‘debate’. The best thing is to take the advice given in another blog: ignore Harris’s drivel and debate the issues with the real thinkers, who might have legitimate and ARGUABLE points of view as opposed to dogmatic religious fervour.

    • Len

      @Dave Harris – with respect to your comment to @Mike Green as to why people do not partake in debate on this site – it is because of faceless trolls like yourself that infest the debate with your incessant regurgitation of the same rubbish over and over again. It takes the debate to exactly the same place every single time no matter what the topic. It is disingenuous, tiresome and boring…that is why. You asked.

    • Tofolux

      @Len, can I remind you that we do not have a dictatorship. In any case, who in heavens name talks about trolls and suchlike. What kind of special language is that?

    • Chronicled

      A most fitting and appropriate quotation relevant to the Secrecy Bill ….

      “It is misdeed only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry”
      …………………….. Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)

    • Anne Coventry

      @Len: Thank you, you have put my thoughts into words. The trolls on this page have absolutely nothing intelligent to say, and merely use these pages to spread misinformation. And gratuitous insults.

    • Mike Green

      @Len and others (and this is not entirely germane to the original article, so my apologies) – getting a rise out of Harris is a like a badge of honour…

    • DeeGee

      Harris. So you want Mike Green to request Jay Naidoo to post his article here so you can comment on it. Why don’t you just comment on it, since it’s already out there… From the sublime to the ridiculous. At least in that respect you do not fail to dissapoint.

      Tofolux. Have you read the bill? It’s called The Protection of State Information Bill. So how does personal identity fraud become state information? As Peter L correctly points out, ID fraud is already dealt with in other pieces of legislation. I can only conclude that it is you who does not grasp the intent of this bill and the implications it has.

    • http://southafricana.blogspot.com Dave Harris

      @Len, Anne Coventry
      Perhaps is the gradual loss of your apartheid privileges that makes you guys detest free speech and engage in name-calling etc. instead of addressing the issues.

      @Mike Green
      So, is your thinking man prepared to climb down from his ivory tower and meet with the “little people” of Thoughleader?

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      Liberals are so easily conned by Communists!

      Look at all the idiotic Western journalists who actually BELIEVED the fake shows Stalin gave of “ideal farming villages”! To quote from “The Eye of the Red Tsar” by Sam Eastland:

      “After the revolution the government ordered all the farms to be collectivised. The original landowners were either shot or sent to Siberia. The people who were left in charge did not know how to run the farms so the crops failed. There was a famine. Approximately five million people died of starvation….Maybe more than five…exact numbers will never be known. When the news of the famine reached the outside world our government simply denied it. They have built several of these model towns. Foreign journalists are invited to tour the country….they are told the famine is a fabrication of anti-Soviet propaganda”

      AND after the Russians and their Cuban mercenaries took over Ethiopia, with the same famine result, their government also simply denied that there was a famine!

      And to his dying day Bram Fischer, just such a liberal, refused to believe in the “anti-Soviet propaganda” about his hero Stalin!

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      The Afrikaner did not believe the “British Anti-German Propaganda” about the Holocaust during World War 11 either. After all the Brits were the one who started concentration camps in the Anglo Boer War were they not?

      This did not only apply to Right Wing Afrikaner but also Liberal Afrikaners like my mother and her father who were both in the war on the side of Smuts.

      After the war, when the truth came out, it shattered them all!

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      In China at least 50 million people died,maybe millions more, as a result of collective farming by peasants, who had at least before been farmworkers(ref: “Wild Swans”)

      Yet Communist Russia and Communist China imposed this system on Southern Africa where the Bantu had never been farmers at all, but migrant cattle herders!

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      There is NO such thing as Centralised Democracy as preached by the ANC

      Democracy everywhere is DECENTRALISED with strong local and regional autonomy.

      Communism and Fascism are Centralised AND THEY DON’T WORK!

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      The TRC only examined ONE SIDE IN A CIVIL WAR!

      It is time to examine the deaths on the other side, not “Reparations for Apartheid” but “Reparations for Communism” which includes the unexamined 20,000 deaths in the township war between the Democratic IFP and the Communist ANC.

      As Churchill said “The Victors Write History” – but only for one generation!