Tag Archives: Protection of Information Bill

The government must speak to the people not the media

The government does not need to fight or over-invest in the media. In fact, it can afford to keep its distance and insist on factual, accurate, correct and truthful reporting. It is an open secret that not only is the media overly juniorised but its professionals are so underpaid and demoralised they cannot uphold their…

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Give me South Africa any day

Commemorating South Africa’s 18th year as a democracy this past week calls for a patriotic blog post, as does the e-toll interdict which delivered a sweet respite and an appropriate present for May 1 to the labour movement for exerting their right to protest. Owing to apartheid, I have never been much of a conventional patriot…

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The ANC’s “second transition”: promise, threat or propaganda?

1 The chain-reaction set off by the release of the ANC policy discussion documents last week, the foundation course for the party’s “second transition”, was to be expected. Headlines and tweets speak of “mining grabs”, “resource nationalism”, a “full scale attack” on the constitution, and the “path to a failed state”. Some say it is…

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Occupy Tshwane: behold the bourgeois revolution

You might think an ‘Occupy Movement’ would find fertile ground in a land as brutally unequal as South Africa, not to mention an economy virtually hostage to monopoly capital. Yet Occupy is primarily driven by an educated, salaried middle class, which has now found itself rapidly sinking into either economic ruin or, horror of horrors,…

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Closing down democratic space is what is really counter-revolutionary

Private and unpublished correspondence by the South African poet Roy Campbell recently came into my possession. In a letter to Francis C. Slater, written in Rome sometime between September 1938 and February 1939, Campbell writes that “journalists are the greatest Social Poison the world has yet seen”. He goes on: “It is a treat to…

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What the frikkabill?

By Nompumelelo Motlafi Arguments about the Protection of State Information Bill have rarely occurred at low decibels. Black-clad journalists and other critics shout that the Bill is unconstitutional, tantamount to gagging, and heralds the end of democracy. At best, government representatives respond that there is no cause for alarm: the Bill is based on careful…

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Happy Black Tuesday

Dear State Happy Black Tuesday. I am writing this letter to you while I am still free to do so. I am also doing so against the advice of my agent, who is afraid that if I make you angry, you will punish me out of the blue and limit my potential, even though I…

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March like an Egyptian: Let’s create a culture of protest

By Mia Swart By appealing his suspension from the ANC, Julius Malema showed that he will not lie down. Like a phoenix he is bound to rise again. Malema’s reckless public statements have often done nothing but infuriate. But he has occasionally made constructive statements. A few years ago, he said that white South Africans…

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Elections 2014 — last chance to save SA?

When the Zimbabwean parliament voted overwhelming in August 2005 to endorse constitutional amendments that would further restrict private property rights and allow the government to deny passports to its critics, exultant Zanu-PF MPs danced and cheered in the aisles. Several apparently even did cartwheels. Similar displays of vindictive glee had reportedly taken place previous, such…

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Arch Makgoba: Secrecy bill evokes memories of apartheid, fear

By Archbishop Thabo Makgoba Dear Mr President, I write to you as one who grew up under a system that oppressed and censored the media — a system that invoked fear in anyone who dared to read, or embrace, different views to those of the government of the day. The passage of the Protection of…

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