I’m a little late, but my freedom of expression was curbed at work today, because Websphere has decided that my blog is a games site… but anyhoo… I cannot be stopped 😉
There was a call a few days ago for all SA bloggers to unite against the threat against freedom of expression in South Africa. Now I don’t normally get involved in political issues on my blog… but this time I feel strongly enough about it, so I’m joining in the fray.
Expression of my thoughts is why this blog has been going for so long. Yes, some thoughts have been tempered over time because there have been huge ramifications about what I’ve said in the past, but in essence, my blog has remained about my thoughts about what happens to me and affects me and my family and friends.
From my blogging, I know how difficult it is at times to stand by what you write… there are very often times that a lot of people disagree with me, but it’s important to get those thoughts out, I think. If I think about something in some way, guaranteed someone else will think the same thing but not be able to put it into words. And by getting those thoughts on my blog, I get to properly explore my feelings and get to rationalise them too (well hopefully anyway)
Anyway, this was a very long preamble, and hopefully you’re still awake 😉 but because of the reactions to some of things I’ve blogged about in the past, I take my hat off to investigative journalists. I really do! They play an extremely important role in our society and even though, I don’t necessarily agree with the tactics they might employ to get the story… get the story they must!
And so, that is why I join Chris Roper and other SA bloggers in this campaign, and post the message as written by Sipho Hlongwane
Last week, shocking revelations concerning the activities of the ANC YouthLeague 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.
See the blogroll here
Ooh and an update… the ANCYL has responded