South Africa’s new “ministry of propaganda” aims to control free flow of information

alt informationThe new ministry of communication seems a direct intervention to stem negative publicity for President Jacob Zuma and the ANC, Christi van der Westhuizen

Independent News becomes an oxymoron in South Africa

alt informationIn what seems like a purge, South Africa’s Independent News and Media (INM) group is shedding many of its foremost journalists and commentators. Simultaneously, the company’s newspapers have stepped up coverage of the personal ruminations of its new chairperson, Dr Iqbal Survé. Christi van der Westhuizen reports

South Africa: Cape Times in crisis as editor fired after corruption story

alt informationThe sacking of a renowned journalist has sent shockwaves through the grieving country's media. Christi Van Der Westhuizen reports

South Africa’s ruling ANC gunning for “censorship lite”

alt informationSouth Africa’s ANC has changed tack in its campaign to curtail the media. In a turn to what could be called “censorship lite”, the iron fist of state security intervention is being augmented by the velvet glove of calls for “patriotic” journalism. Christi van der Westhuizen reports

South Africa: Confronting choices about free expression

alt informationAs the G20 nations prepare to meet in St Petersburg, Russia in early September, Index on Censorship is exploring the nations’ records on free expression. Today: Christi van der Westhuizen reports on South Africa

After court appeal ANC decides to allow Zuma no confidence vote — but in February

South Africa’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, last week agreed to hear an application about a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. A High Court judge’s findings suggested that “the public are entitled to hear the debate” as the Constitution enjoins South Africans to prevent the suppression of “the dignity of even a […]

Police raid Belarus Free Theatre performance in Minsk

On 8 December police entered the rented Minsk premises of the Belarus Free Theatre (BFT) and forced the actors and members of the 60-person audience to provide identity information. The officers interrupted a performance of the BFT’s play Zone of Silence. After they had recorded the identities of everyone in the building, the show then went […]

Banning Lady Gaga — South Africa’s media take a stand

US pop superstar Lady Gaga’s first sojourn to South Africa has raised the hackles of newspaper editors and religious fundamentalists alike. Local organisers Big Concerts informed the press that, while journalists would be admitted, no press photographers would be allowed at the Johannesburg and Cape Town concerts on 29 November and 3 December. The usual […]

“Secrets kill democracy” — Activists protest oppressive secrecy bill

South Africa’s Right2Know Campaign (R2K) is “Camping out for Openness” outside parliament in Cape Town this week as deliberations over the draconian Protection of State Information Bill draw to a close. The National Council of Provinces, the second house of parliament, is due to adopt the bill by the end of November. The bill is ostensibly aimed […]

Calls for insult laws to protect South African President Zuma from criticism

The South African Communist Party (SACP) this week made a public call for a law to be instituted to protect the country’s president against “insults”. The call, by one of its provincial branches, was in response to growing public outrage about R240 million (about £17m) worth of taxpayer’s money spent on upgrading the private homestead of […]

Anti-Boer song ignites incitement debate

In South Africa, the singing of “struggle songs” remains a bone of contention. Some South Africans contend, along with the courts, that songs should be banned when their lyrics incite violence. Other South Africans regard the songs as a way to remember the anti-apartheid struggle. On 31 October, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), […]

Former Belarusian presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov gets UK asylum

Andrei Sannikov, a former political prisoner from Belarus, has been granted asylum in the UK. Sannikov told the Charter97 website: It was not a simple decision for me. But I had no other choice — other options were to be tortured and humiliated in jail or to be quiet as a lamb. I remain a […]