South Africa / 2010

CPJ Blog

South Africans end week of "secrecy bill" protests

October 29, 2010 3:09 PM ET

On Wednesday, just before South African lawmakers were scheduled to debate amendments to the controversial Protection of Information Bill, thousands of protesters marched to the gates of Parliament in Cape Town to oppose the measure, which they called an "apartheid-style secrecy bill." The marchers represented a broad coalition of...

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In South Africa, echoes of Black Wednesday

October 25, 2010 1:14 PM ET

On October 19, 1977, South Africa's government banned The World newspaper, along with Weekend World, the paper's weekly magazine, and Pro Veritate, a Christian publication. Authorities also detained scores of activists and outlawed 17 anti-apartheid groups during the one-day crackdown, which came to be known as Black Wednesday....

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South Africa weighs dropping media tribunal plan

October 21, 2010 3:22 PM ET

For the first time in South Africa's months-long debate over the proposal for a government-run media appeals tribunal, a top official from the African National Congress (ANC) indicated on Friday that the plan could be dropped altogether--under certain conditions....

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With media plan, ANC copies Nigeria's military rulers

September 24, 2010 10:21 AM ET

While South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) discusses the party's proposal for a media appeals tribunal, delegates should take note of a landmark ruling in Nigeria this year in which a High Court judge declared a government-dominated press council unconstitutional. ...

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Somali journalist lives under threat, in fear in South Africa

September 22, 2010 10:10 AM ET

Violence has cut through the life of 28-year-old journalist Abdulahi Ibrahim Dasar, from his high school days in Kismayo, the third-largest city in Somalia, to his life as a refugee in South Africa. The turbulence of Dasar's life also explains his entry into journalism, a profession that has made...

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Why South Africa's media fight matters to Botswana

September 15, 2010 11:08 AM ET

For Batswana journalists, news that their South African colleagues are busy warding off a proposed statutory media tribunal from the ruling African National Congress sounds all too familiar. For more than a decade, the government of Botswana has been trying to push a media law that would effectively shift the whole...

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South Africans rally against 'secrecy bill'

September 1, 2010 4:08 PM ET

Cape Town's St George's Cathedral, a rallying point for civil rights action during apartheid, was the site of the public launch on Tuesday of a mass campaign aimed at stopping a secrecy bill seen as a major threat to South Africans' hard-won freedom....

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A lesson for South African media: Look to Kenya

August 23, 2010 5:02 PM ET

The chorus of voices opposing the South African government's proposed Protection of Information Bill and state-backed ombudsman continue to grow. South Africa's Business Day estimates the press produces three articles per day opposing what many journalists see as an attempt by the ruling party to muzzle investigative reporting. More than 30 editors...

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ANC plans taint Southern Africa's press freedom leader

August 23, 2010 12:51 PM ET

As heads of state gathered last week at the summit of the Southern African Development Community, or SADC, in Namibia, their discussions were dominated by the progress of Zimbabwe's precarious power-sharing political agreement, which includes pledges to address a repressive media environment. Leading the mediation in the Zimbabwean crisis...

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In South Africa, a new struggle for press freedom

August 17, 2010 4:02 PM ET

The South African media is facing its fiercest battle yet with the country's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), over the boundaries of freedom of expression in the 16-year-old democracy. On August 8, 37 senior members of the media issued a declaration decrying recent moves on the part...

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Freedom of information laws struggle to take hold in Africa

February 5, 2010 4:58 PM ET

In Uganda, a ruling this week in a landmark case of two journalists seeking to compel their government’s disclosure of multinationals oil deals highlighted the challenges to public transparency just before media leaders, press freedom advocates, officials, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter gather in Ghana next week at...

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Press freedom gets red card as World Cup approaches

January 26, 2010 5:08 PM ET

As South Africa prepares to host the 2010 World Cup and “soccer fever” reaches its height, press freedom may be left on the benches. Police have recently subpoenaed two journalists working for private station e.tv to reveal their sources in a story about a scheme to commit violent crimes during the...

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