I have been made aware of a movement that is taking place. My fellow South African bloggers are taking a stand against the ANC Youth League and the current ruling party for attempting to strangle our right to freedom of speech.
A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad.
~ Albert Camus
As a result, South African bloggers have been called by Sipho Hlongwane to join in the protest against the jackboot tactics the ANC Youth League are employing to try and destroy the freedom of the press.
If you support this movement you are urged to spread the word by using the “#SpeakZA” hash tag via social media and by spreading the following statement on your blog:
Bloggers For a Free Press
Last week, shocking revelations concerning the activities of the ANC Youth League spokesperson Nyiko Floyd Shivambu came to the fore. According to a letter published in various news outlets, a complaint was laid by 19 political journalists with the Secretary General of the ANC, against Shivambu. This complaint letter detailed attempts by Shivambu to leak a dossier to certain journalists, purporting to expose the money laundering practices of Dumisani Lubisi, a journalist at the City Press. The letter also detailed the intimidation that followed when these journalists refused to publish these revelations.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the reprisals against journalists by Shivambu. His actions constitute a blatant attack on media freedom and a grave infringement on Constitutional rights. It is a disturbing step towards dictatorial rule in South Africa. We call on the ANC and the ANC Youth League to distance themselves from the actions of Shivambu. The media have, time and again, been a vital democratic safeguard by exposing the actions of individuals who have abused their positions of power for personal and political gain.
The press have played a vital role in the liberation struggle, operating under difficult and often dangerous conditions to document some of the most crucial moments in the struggle against apartheid. It is therefore distressing to note that certain people within the ruling party are willing to maliciously target journalists by invading their privacy and threatening their colleagues in a bid to silence them in their legitimate work.
We also note the breathtaking hubris displayed by Shivambu and the ANC Youth League President Julius Malema in their response to the letter of complaint. Shivambu and Malema clearly have no respect for the media and the rights afforded to the media by the Constitution of South Africa. Such a response serves only to reinforce the position that the motive for leaking the so-called dossier was not a legitimate concern, but a insolent effort to intimidate and bully a journalist who had exposed embarrassing information about the Youth League President.
We urge the ANC as a whole to reaffirm its commitment to media freedom and other Constitutional rights we enjoy as a country.
Blog’s and bloggers who support this initiative:
If you don’t have this freedom of the press, then all these little fellows are weaseling around and doing their monkey business and they never get caught.
~ Harold R. Medina