Two Swazi Govt Critics Convicted

A lawyer in Swaziland says two government critics there have been found guilty of contempt of court in a case that focused attention on human rights in the landlocked African kingdom.

Sipho Gumedze, a human rights lawyer, says that the two critics - a lawyer and a magazine editor - are considering an appeal.

Lawyer, Thulani Maseko, and Bheki Makhubu, editor of Swaziland's The Nation magazine, have been charged after publishing articles in which they lamented alleged threats to judicial independence.

SA Closer to Digital Broadcasting Switch

The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services says government will announce a date for the switch to digital broadcasting within three months.

Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister, Siyabonga Cwele, points out that, “This designation will allow the industry, manufacturers and TV-owning population to prepare accordingly, in order to purchase and install set-top boxes.”

Zambia Launches Digital Migration Policy

The Zambian government has launched the digital migration policy to help scale up the implementation process and ensure a people-driven migration agenda.
Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, Joseph Katema, also called for an all-inclusive participation by stakeholders to ensure success in the implementation of the digital migration.
Dr Katema expressed confidence that Zambia will migrate before 17 June 2015 deadline set by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and shift from analogue to digital television broadcasting.

Zuma Tops As Election Loudmouth

President Jacob Zuma tops a list of the top 20 ‘loudmouths’ in the run-up to the elections, with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, coming in a close second.

According to an interim report released by the Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), Zuma received the most media coverage in the months leading up to the elections.

EFF leader Julius Malema is in second place, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Helen Zille, DA Gauteng premier candidate, Mmusi Maimane, and Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela.

Citizens Forgotten in Election Coverage: MMA

The Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) says the media has allowed political parties to set the agenda for coverage of the election campaign and neglected issues affecting ordinary citizens.

In an interim report on the media's handling of the elections, the watchdog says 52 percent of all stories 7 May 2014 polls concern ‘party campaigning’ and ‘party politics’.

SANEF: Info Bill Must Go to ConCourt

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) calls for the Protection of State Information Bill to be sent to the Constitutional Court for ratification before it is signed into law.

In a statement to mark International Press Freedom Day, SANEF’s chairperson, Mpumelelo Mkhabela, says a public interest defence clause in the Bill would truly enhance the ability of media to assist in the fight against corruption.

De Klerk Foundation: Media Freedom is Threatened

The FW De Klerk Foundation expresses concern about possible threats to media freedom in South Africa on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2014, under the theme which reflects the media’s importance in development, the safety of journalists and the rule of law as well as the sustainability and integrity of journalism.

The Foundation’s spokesperson, Jacques du Preez announces that while media freedom was protected by the Constitution when weighed against the theme for this year’s Press Freedom Day, South Africa did not appear to entirely measure up.

Civil Society Criticises the SABC

Civil society groups have joined the list of political parties criticising the South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC) recently by protesting outside its Auckland Park head offices.

Right2Know, Save Our SABC, the Independent Producers’ Organisation, the Democratic Left Front and members of the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (NUMSA) accuse the public broadcaster of favouring the ruling African National Congress (ANC), intimidating its journalists and failing to air quality, local content.

Bill to Criminalise 'Insulting' Online Posts

The Mozambican government proposes a Bill that would criminalise SMSes, emails and other types of online posts that are considered ‘insulting’ or ‘jeopardise the security of the state’. 

Minister of science and technology, Louis Pelembe, explained that the tough penalties proposed in the Bill would ensure consumer protection and increase confidence in electronic transactions as a means of communication and provision of services.

Besides the provision on insulting content, the law would cover fraudulent access to the internet, databases and financial transactions.

Swaziland Releases Detained Editor, Lawyer

A Swaziland editor and a rights lawyer who were arrested over an article said to be in contempt of court were freed on Sunday after a judge nullified their arrest.

Judge Mumcy Dlamini rejected a warrant of arrest for Bheki Makhubu, the editor of the Nation magazine, and lawyer Thulani Maseko, who is a columnist at the magazine, saying it is not in line with the law.


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