Black Tuesday, the darkest day for South African democracy since 1994.
Members of parliament will almost certainly pass the protection of information bill, otherwise known as the “secrecy bill”. The South African public will be deprived of free information.
Military intelligence, like weapon designs, could make us vulnerable if leaked. But we have not been reading about these topics in our newspapers. We have indulged in a feast of corruption, shady arms deals and financial scandals. Stuff that makes Nixon look like a toddler.
The ANC is now attempting to muzzle our press. The new laws would make it a crime to leak, possess or publish information deemed classified by the government, with whistleblowers and journalists facing up to 25 years in jail. Surely this bill is in direct conflict of the international human rights laws?
The apartheid government muzzled our newspapers. I thought all the political violence in our country happened in the name of freedom. Freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and association. Robert Mugabe pulled the same move as he has steadily eroded the freedoms of his people. It’s frightening that we do not learn from our mistakes.
As a blogger, I rarely write about politics or government related topics. But if times should get tough, I would like to have a voice.
I’m joining my first protest – I’m wearing black today.