Protection of Information Bill

Backers of Media Bill Had ‘Hands in the Till’

Govin Reddy, former South African Broadcasting Corporation radio head, says some of the greatest proponents of the controversial Protection of Information Bill had been caught with their ‘hands in the till’.

Speaking at a BBC-led debate on media freedom in South Africa, the Protection of Information Bill and the proposed Media Appeals Tribunal, Reddy says the country started with an aggressive, active media in 1994 and it’s been downhill ever since.

Media Tribunal to Complement Self-Regulation - Zuma

President Jacob Zuma says the proposed media appeals tribunal is intended to ‘strengthen, complement and support the current self-regulatory institutions’.

Replying to questions in the National Assembly, Zuma said that the African National Congress' (ANC) resolution on a proposed media tribunal promotes media freedom within the context of the human rights ethos of the Constitution.

Goldstone Criticises Information Bill

Retired Constitutional Court Judge, Richard Goldstone, has criticised the proposed Protection of Information Bill, warning that it could infringe on press freedom if passed into law in its current form.

Goldstone says neither the Constitution nor the judiciary is under threat but what concerns him is the proposed Protection of Information Bill being pushed by the African National Congress-led government. 

CoDL condemns proposed media censorship measures

The Conference of the Democratic Left (CoDL) condemns government and ANC attempts to curb media freedom in South Africa, made manifest in the Protection of Information Bill and the proposal to establish a statutory Media Appeals Tribunal. We also note that these measures come in the wake of attempts to increase government control of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), through the Icasa Amendment Bill and the Public Services Broadcasting Bill.

COSATU Not Supporting Media Bill

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has come out against the government's proposed media appeals tribunal, saying it could take the country down a ‘slippery slope’ if implemented in its current form.

Speaking at the end of the union federation's three-day central executive committee meeting in Johannesburg, COSATU general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said the repressive media appeals tribunal ‘could not be supported until it is much clearer how it will be constituted’.

Media Bill Goes Too Far – ANC MP

The African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament, Ben Turok, has urged his party to make the press ombudsman more transparent and accountable to the public rather than impose a media tribunal.

Speaking during a Mail&Guardian Critical Thinking Forum debate on media freedom in Cape Town, Turok said that the Protection of Information Bill ‘goes too far’ and that the proposed media appeals tribunal is not the solution.

How Should The Media Be Regulated?

The Faculty of Humanities at Wits University and the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) invite the media and the public to a debate on the ANC’s proposed Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT). Please pass on to your friends, colleagues and family beyond Wits who may want to attend this lecture.

Authors Warn Against Information Bill

Renowned authors say jeopardising the freedom of writers will endanger the freedom of every reader in South Africa.

In a protest organised by acclaimed authors Andre Brink and Nadine Gordimer, against the Protection of Information Bill and the African National Congress’ proposed media tribunal, they say that writing presupposes an interaction with readers, adding that if the work and the freedom of the writer are in jeopardy, the freedom of every reader in South Africa is in danger.

Protection of Information Bill: SA Media Under Attack

Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, reminded us in 1994 that: “A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy.” 16 years into democracy, opposition parties, civil society, activists and other stakeholders are facing new realities associated with our democracy - the proposed Protection of Information Bill and Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT).

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