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The secrecy bill: A dream dies

Charlene Smith
24 November 2011

Charlene Smith says SA is on verge of returning to a frightening past

Cambridge, MA - As an apartheid-era South African political journalist I once refused to reveal my sources after writing an exposé of corrupt practices by the Minister of Agriculture. A judge threatened to jail me for 18 months in terms of section 205 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.

I refused to budge and ultimately Judge Fritz Eloff declined to send me to jail, but if that happened in South Africa now, following Tuesday's passing of the Protection of State Information Bill, I could face 25 years imprisonment. Two years short of what Nelson Mandela served.

Without brave investigative journalists - some of who did go to jail under apartheid and many of whom were arrested often (myself included), and some of whom were killed covering conflict - apartheid's excesses could never have been revealed. The South African media showed why apartheid needed to go.

As an example, in 1990, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sheena Duncan of the Black Sash and others approached me to begin the first investigations into death squads. They had formed an organization called the Independent Board of Inquiry into Informal Repression. Two weeks later we had the miracle of an askari (death squad assassin) spilling the beans in a statement to us. I had to investigate it. Lawyers checked every finding and directed me to find more. We did not know if the askari was a security police agent sowing disinformation.

Within three months we began giving proven leads to newspapers, some of which were bombed or saw editors and journalists arrested for writing articles, and conducting further investigations. That information formed the seedbed of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission led by Tutu in a democratic South Africa.

After less than a year I gave up my job at the IBIIR because my phones were tapped, mail intercepted, tires slashed, and prowlers were often in my garden. The person who took over the job, Bheki Mlangeni, a young lawyer had his head blown off when he opened a parcel with a tape recorder in it, put the enclosed headphones over his ears and pushed the "play" button. The parcel, originally intended for Dirk Coetzee, had been sent by Vlakplaas operatives.

The minute a state closes the doors on freedom of expression; when it arrests journalists and terrorizes whistleblowers, it permits the temptation of excess, and more laws to curb freedoms. No just state ever acts against those who speak out. Truths are uncomfortable, but they allow reformation and progress.

Even the path of this law carries warnings. Communist leader Ronnie Kasrils, who has since denounced it, first introduced it in 2008. State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, whose then wife was convicted of involvement in an international cocaine smuggling ring in May, reintroduced it. He has referred to critics of this law, including Mr. Kasrils who previously occupied the same ministerial position, as proxies of ‘foreign spies.'

The new law allows the state to classify documents as secret in "the national interest" - which has a broad definition. Citizens and journalists found in possession of such documents would be treated as ‘foreign spies' and could face up to 25 years in jail. There is no defence of ‘acting in the public interest.' Critics claim it could repress the reporting of corruption and human rights abuses.

Thousands of South Africans demonstrated against the bill including Nobel laureates, Tutu and Nadine Gordimer. South Africa's 1996 Constitution and Bill of Rights protect freedom of the press but this law brought under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma, ignores it. Zuma, a polygamist who was acquitted of rape shortly before being elected has become significantly wealthy since apartheid's end. He has oft been the target of media investigations.

Recently he suspended the second police commissioner in a row for alleged corruption; the one before him was charged with corruption, racketeering, murder, human trafficking and drug smuggling. Newspapers exposed some of these activities.

Last week Zuma's spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, a former government minister under Nelson Mandela, filed a lawsuit against the Mail & Guardian, a newspaper with a proud anti-apartheid history for asking questions, using leaked government documents, about his explanations of suspicious payments to his wife in the context of a lucrative credit card driver's license tender.

The new law could silence reporting of protests against deepening inequity. Harsh police action, sometimes resulting in death has been seen during some of these protests. The divide between rich and poor is now more acute than during apartheid.

South Africa, dubbed the rainbow nation by a jubilant Tutu after the release of Nelson Mandela, has in less than two decades slipped from being a model of human rights tolerance to a country at risk of deepening repression.

Ratings agency Moody's citing increasing government interference in Africa's largest economy has downgraded it. Transparency International ranked it 38th in the world in terms of perceived corruption in 2001 to 54th in 2010.

On Tuesday when I read, "229 MPs voted in favor of the protection of state information bill, with 107 no votes and 2 abstentions," I cried. A dream has died.

* Charlene Smith is an award-winning political journalist who lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This article was published with the assistance of the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF). The views presented in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FNF.

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 responses to this article

Tipping point
The New ANC have gone beyond the tipping point, as this is a major departure from the ideals of the Old ANC. When Tutu, Kasrils and Jay Naidoo denounce this, one realizes the significance of this attempt to censor us. For starters, the Polokwani clan must . .more

by Alti on November 24 2011, 20:52
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Oh to be young again
Apologies Charlene Smith ( but you do look a bit like Connie Braam )

Specially for Mac
and JVR
who thinks that only white liberal black sash ladies are to blame for the downfall of Apartheid

An unlikely looking bunch of . .more

by Bibliophile on November 24 2011, 21:07
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Pure hyperbole
What is wrong with allowing the state to classify documents as secret in "the national interest" ? Why should narrow interests decide a broad definition is not appropriate? The state apparatus is controlled by a democratically elected Government, you want . .more

by . on November 24 2011, 22:00
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The dotty ostrich!
I fail to see the relevance of of what the UK Official Secrets Act does or doesn't provide, nor what the US Espionage law does or does not do.

We have a Constitution which provides for freedom of speech and the press and promotes access to . .more

by Mute Fool on November 24 2011, 23:13
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ZANUandANCpfSECRETS.....

....like the genocidal HIV-AIDS cover-up agreed by the SADC Liberation Movements (who are now majority rule governments of one kind of democracy or another in the region).

If I continue leaking & writing about such dirty little criminal . .more

by John Austin on November 25 2011, 02:33
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nonANCpf+unloyalCADREs=enemyAGENTS+SPIES....
....once you have the tyrannical laws - they WILL be used (by the tyrants within).

Any nonANC civil servant who does his job without-fear-or-favour (as required & paid so to do) & finds himself up against the "mob" within ANCpf & ZANU in . .more . .more

by John Austin on November 25 2011, 02:35
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the numbers....
....of the 229 votes out of 400 only constitute a 57.25% vote in favour of the bill....keep this in mind when the anc talks of an overwhelming majority vote.....

by onlooker on November 25 2011, 03:21
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Cambridge...
Its nice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Madam, is it not? The ANC folks are miles away, then?

by K on November 25 2011, 04:14
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There is no medicine to cure stupidity and ignorance!
The ANC (African National Congress), is a revolutionary organisation, and not a democratic organisation. The ANC has never proclaimed to be founded on liberal Western democratic principles. So, I am glad this author, . .more

by Pieter Reyneke on November 25 2011, 06:24
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Roll on elections

When the needs must the devil drives. 783 charges dropped, Shabir Shaik's terminal illness, Menzi Simelane's appointment etc....now the secrecy bill. A 3 line whip forced this bill through and only 2 had the conviction to abstain.

The ANC . .more

by Oblio on November 25 2011, 06:47
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@K

What did you do during the apartheid times K? Did you fight for truth? Did you risk your life for truth? If you had what would you think of someone assessing your achievements by commenting on where you live now. Investigative journalists fight our . .more

by Oblio on November 25 2011, 06:56
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@.
All this talk about state secrets. You write that "it will plug a gap ". What state secrets have got through the gap that is being plugged? How many corruption secrets will be bottled up? Just watch the anonymous pathways of the Internet and you will . .more

by Steve Spottiswoode on November 25 2011, 07:16
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@SS
The release of state information from corrupt public servants to tenderpreneurs or foreign governments for money or a slice of the pie is an example. If you recognize there are are corrupt officials (which the Government acknowledges) then dealing with it . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 08:16
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@Dot
"You are either childish or a m*o*r*o*n. Take your pick"
He is neither of those, but a well-paid (conniving) mercenary

by Injala Apera on November 25 2011, 08:36
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@Mute Fool
The relevance is that the media in other countries can function without a public interest clause as they do in the UK with its Official Secrets Act or in cases in the US with its Espionage Act and national defense. The premise in the article that not . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 08:38
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@Noddy
I choose neither. You are the one not putting forward any argument.

by . on November 25 2011, 08:40
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@John Austin
You consider the SA information bill draconian legislation because it does not contain a public interest clause, yet fled to the the UK to live under the Official Secrets Act which also has no public interest clause. Clearly the impact of living under . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 08:45
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@.
Trust no government. Only fools believe government has their best interests at heart. Where's your healthy scepticism, your instinct for self-preservation?

by DW on November 25 2011, 09:30
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@.
Defending the indefensible ? Mission impossible .

by kreef on November 25 2011, 09:41
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@DW
Voters have the ability to replace a democratic Government they don't trust periodically, they do so regularly in Europe, US and in SA the voters keep on reaffirming their trust in the ANC government since 1994, they must be doing something . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 09:47
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Secrecy = Crime. Free SA from ANC
South Africa, we will have to start a movement to oppose the ANC the same as we did the Apartheid government.We have dark days ahead!

by Just an ordinary citizen on November 25 2011, 09:50
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@Kreef
It is defensible. Let citizens who are critical of the Information Bill approach the ConCourt for judgement on the matter. Whats the point of having a constitutional court if you don't use it?

It's a question of the National Interest and by . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 10:07
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Please help me understand the purpose of the bill...
Which state confidential documents have been leaked and "abused" by any citizen or the media since 1994, that would have violated this law had it been enacted in 1996?

I'm trying to see and understand, by example, the national security holes this . .more

by J. Napo Mokoetle on November 25 2011, 10:10
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@Just an Ordinary Citizen
Are you saying the DA, FF+, COPE and other alternatives are not upto the task? A coalition of the failing?

by . on November 25 2011, 10:12
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by . on November 24 2011, 22:00
The democracy you refer to is actually the corrupted arithmetic of majority rule .

Moving right along , you are correct when saying EVERY GOVERNMENT has the right to classify / protect is secrets . However , the final arbiter should always be . .more

by Green Room on November 25 2011, 10:24
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There is a lot of anger about this
I have never seen the volume of comments on PoliticsWeb and Mail&Guardian that have been made in the last few days.

Tipping point, people?
I think I hear Jesus.........

by Alto on November 25 2011, 10:39
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J. Napo Mokoetle
The leaking and publishing of Home Affairs information to Foreign Governments and their proxies or ciminal elements allowing such entities to counteract and intercede against the interest of South Africa and its people. Timing is everything with regards . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 10:44
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by . on November 25 2011, 09:47
ANC lackey - there is ample legislation to control responsible media reporting - your efforts to peddle your slow poison of deception , to soothe the great unwashed while they are anaesthetized - will not work on this site sonny - most of the posters here . .more

by Green Room on November 25 2011, 10:49
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by . on November 25 2011, 08:45
Clearly you suffer from a bout of amnesia - possibly the selective variety .

How dare you criticise John Austin's government when the okes the ANC used to achieve your political solution in 94 , are now calling for 90 detention without trial . .more

by Green Room on November 25 2011, 10:54
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@Green Room
There is no corrupted arithmetic of majority rule, it is the intent and purpose of the democratic process introduced into South Africa. South Africa's elections post 94 have all been generally free and fair.

The ConCourt will decide if the . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 11:00
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@Green Room
Listen Mr.Green or can I call you Room seeing how you believe majority of posters on this website can spell their own name , the reality is that the media in South Africa have degenerated to serving their own narrow self interest and in previous posts on . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 11:14
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Responsibility for your actions
Indeed - responsibility for your actions - thus if something is communicated and exposes certain info , let the court decide after a complaint has been lodged . This would not be placing the cart before the horse .

However , when you decree . .more

by Green Room on November 25 2011, 11:18
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Total self interest compounded with corruption
The parallels between the ANC and its predecessor the National Party are clear to all that are open minded and informed:

Both want a place in the sun for its constituency after oppression
Both do so at the expense of all others
Both . .more

by Dinks on November 25 2011, 11:18
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Dinks on November 25 2011, 11:18
Excellent and factal summation

by Green Room on November 25 2011, 11:21
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Dinks on November 25 2011, 11:18
Eish - typo - should read Excellent and factual summation

by Green Room on November 25 2011, 11:22
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@by Green Room on November 25 2011, 10:54
Northern Island never had the same rights as the right of the UK, I always recall a US report ranking the UK 1.5 instead of 1 in terms of freedom, not because of the UK Official Secrets Act but because of its detention without trial policy in Northern . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 11:22
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Charlene
Tyres Charlene , not tires

by Green Room on November 25 2011, 11:23
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@Dinks
Your comment is factually incorrect, and makes claims without any supporting evidence. None. Nada. Zilch.

What secrecy act...? there is a Protection of State Information Bill.Is that what you mean?

by . on November 25 2011, 11:27
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@Green Room
Maybe she is using American English or at least an American English spell checker setting...after all she does live and work in Cambridge, Massachusetts...rather than South Africa, which seems a shame given her hard work against the pre-94 Government...

by . on November 25 2011, 11:32
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@.
And if the Con Court decides against the bill , will the anc withdraw it and accept it as unconstitutional.

by kreef on November 25 2011, 11:34
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@GreenRoom@Charlene

re: TYRES v TIRES

Charlene is now Americanised.

Americans speak English (sort of); they never learned to spell it.

Americans spell phonetically, & Microsoft's Spellchecker is slowly replacing the Oxford English dictionary . .more

by John Austin on November 25 2011, 11:48
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Nelson Mandela
This is what is going around:
October 19 1977 - South Africa's Apartheid government bans several local newspapers for publishing news articles about the beating and murder of Steve Biko at the hands of the police... the ANC protested this . .more

by Open Minded on November 25 2011, 11:55
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http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16117273
Back to 101 . Firstly , you recall what happened to Murdoch's NOTW - same thing - moles employed to expose the tapping may have been employed by the KGB/FSB front man Lebedev who seeks control of UK and Euro media . This article is a COD - change of . .more

by Green Room on November 25 2011, 11:56
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Nelson Mandela continued
No just will not accept the balance of my previous post.
Is this the bill at work ????

by Open Minded on November 25 2011, 11:56
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by . on November 25 2011, 08:45

So then, I see the old-style mischief-making, obfuscating, irritating DOT is back ?

Please do not pretend to put your words into my blogs.

Your attributions to my worries & concerns are false, and you know it.

My original . .more

by John Austin on November 25 2011, 12:07
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@Kreef
They have done so on other occasions when they were wrong...

by . on November 25 2011, 12:10
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@Green Room
Charlenes message seems to answer the question "What did you do in the war Grandma?" and implies the bill is about the media, but what its about is the classification of state information. There is nothing wrong about the current Government wanting to . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 12:15
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@John Austin
I did not put any words into your blogs, they are wordy enough...

What is strange is why you live in the UK with its Official Secrets Act with no public interest clause but seek to disparage SA for having the temerity to introduce a similar . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 12:19
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by . on November 25 2011, 12:19

You just can't help yourself, Dot, viz:-

"What is strange is why you live in the UK" in the same sentence as "with its Official Secrets Act with no public interest clause..."

The two issues are totally unrelated, viz:-

It . .more

by John Austin on November 25 2011, 12:47
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izimfihlo
The ANC managed to bypass the old regimes security --
With a bit of help from Charles Nqakula, Tim Jenkin, Mac Maharaj, Connie Braam, Nadine Gordimer, Pik Botha
Read all about it . .more

by Bibliophile on November 25 2011, 13:12
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@John Austin
If the subject matter is Government control of information then they are related, because you live in one (UK) and complain about the introduction of similiar laws into another (SA). I don't warrent a reply because the answer is obvious to all and . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 13:57
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The beginning of a whole new future!
When events like this occur, one ought never to look back into the past, dwell and drool on that. Always focus on the NOW, understand what is entails and begin to bring about change to eradicate that which is not sustainable, that coerces and inhibits . .more

by Pierre Hough on November 25 2011, 14:25
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by . on November 25 2011, 13:57

....and Dot concludes that he "doesn't warrant a reply because the answer is obvious to all and sundry..."

AND there is more truth to this than perhaps Dot realises, viz:-

"Tick, tick, tick, . .more

by John Austin on November 25 2011, 14:32
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@John Austin
...nothing of substance as per usual...put your memoirs in a book it would help ease your mind...

by . on November 25 2011, 15:09
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@DOT
The UK Official Secrets Act is just that. It does not protect an element of government or its citizens from investigation. UK journalists are free to investigate and publish any and all infringements perpetrated by the State or lose living in it. They are . .more

by Anthony Caenazzo on November 25 2011, 15:11
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@Anthony Caenazzo
The UK Official Secrets Act has no " public defense" clause for the leaking of information, neither does the SA version of the Information Bill that is the crux of the matter and its apparent that the media in the UK can function without one and by the . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 15:44
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@Oblio
I did not work work on the side of the ANC... but I have something against people who worked on their side, and then emigrated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, when they came to power.

by K on November 25 2011, 16:34
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"Pure hyperbole?"
Ah, Mr Hyperbole! Do you think the surrender of civil liberty hyperbole???
Voltaire, the great French Enlightenment philosopher known for his defence of civil liberties wrote: "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to . .more

by Stanley on November 25 2011, 17:35
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Mr Oblio
Mr Oblio. The fact that the author moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in no way detracts from the truth of her argument.


by Stanley on November 25 2011, 17:36
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East Germany
I lived in East Germany toward the end of the cold war. This is all strangely familiar. Everyone was afraid to talk because the authorities had classified EVERYTHING as SECRET - even their corruption. So now it seems we go this road too.

by Vernon on November 25 2011, 17:36
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Mr Austin
"Temerity": Deffinition:
unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger or opposition, rashness, recklessness.

Quite so.

by Stanley on November 25 2011, 17:41
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Amusing
Have you noticed how we South Africans like to play the player rather than the game? Suddenly the writer's place of residence and spelling is of greater import than a controversial piece of legislation! P*******.

by Andrew on November 25 2011, 17:45
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@Dinks
"The National Party did not plunder the Blacks through punitive "affirmative action"
So under National Party Apartheid all Blacks had the same job opportuitities as Whites?
If you think the National Party had integrity you don'td understand the . .more

by Jeff on November 25 2011, 17:54
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end-of-the-rainbow....
... and the pot of gold has been emptied by a corrupt government.
So maybe this info/secrecy/shut-up-about-our-wrong-doings legislation will teach us not to take our freedoms for granted? While we were in the hazy glow of the rainbow the thieves . .more

by Lee on November 25 2011, 17:56
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The Dot revealed
At last the Dot has outed himself. By his own words this must be Siyaboga Cwele, the infamous Minister of State Security who didn't even know that his wife was a drug smuggler. No hope for this country!

by Jeff on November 25 2011, 17:59
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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts seems a lovely place to live. Why not? I'm rather envious actually. I imagine if I lived there though I'd probably soon forget about the clownish behavior of our politicians:America has its very own circus too.

by Fred on November 25 2011, 18:00
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@Dotty Dot aka Siyabonga Cwele
As for your claims that the USA and the UK do not have a "national interest" clause, it has been stated before that they have other mechanisms which do in fact amount to the same thing. You can read page 7 of todays Mail &Guardian where there is a short . .more

by Jeff on November 25 2011, 18:12
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Cambridge, Massachusetts again
Of course, likelihood with all the suspiciously-secret-keep-quiet-about-it money our boys in power are making they'll all be able to retire to Cambridge Massachusetts anyway, and the journo's who know how they made their money will all be serving 25 year . .more

by Fred on November 25 2011, 18:25
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@Stanley
There is no surrender of liberty. There is an Information Classification Bill that has no "public interest clause". The UK Official Secrets Act also has no "public interest" clause. Does anyone consider the UK to have surrendered their liberty? No. So why . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 18:29
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@Jeff
Ah yes the whistle blower act and similar mechanisms...SA has those as well...so why the focus on a distinct and specific "public interest clause" in the Information Bill? Ah yes I forgot the media empires making all the noise want profits without any . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 18:45
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Information Bill
OUR DEMOCRACY AND OUR CONSTITUTION IS IN TROUBLE!!!

by Wizard on November 25 2011, 19:14
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@Jeff...reSiyabongwDOT...

....now that you mention it, everytime this INFORMATION BILL has cropped up on POLITICSWEB in one article or another, comrade DOT is all over it like a rash - defending it as though his very livelihood depended on it.

Perhaps it does. He . .more

by John Austin on November 25 2011, 20:27
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@John Austin
Bollocks to most of your comment! ...But maybe you are onto something with your comment that maybe you have all got it wrong...after all the amount of commentators and diversity of views here on Politicsweb is hardly representative of the South Africa . .more

by . on November 25 2011, 21:00
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by . on November 25 2011, 21:00

you're welcome :)

p.s. tick, tick, tick..... :)

by John Austin on November 26 2011, 00:40
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"who lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts"
The Charlene Smiths of this world are reaping what they have sown. They didn't like apartheid because they couldn't stand the bladdy Dutchmen running things. So they decided to help the "natives" - or rather who they imagined them to be. They turned a . .more

by Realist on November 26 2011, 01:08
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"who lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts"
The Charlene Smiths of this world are reaping what they have sown. They didn't like apartheid because they couldn't stand the bladdy Dutchmen running things. So they decided to help the "natives" - or rather who they imagined them to be. They turned a . .more

by Realist on November 26 2011, 01:11
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A boring refrain from dotty . (dot).
Old Dot has absolved himself from the need to compare apples with apples; in his glib and superficial world it's quite Ok to compare apples with bananas.

What relevance has what the UK and USA do wrt state secrets got to do with how we do it? . .more

by Mute Fool on November 26 2011, 12:25
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The dream has not died.
It has turned into a ghastly nightmare.

by Mute Fool on November 26 2011, 12:31
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Skunk does not start with a K?
Look at this post :

Cambridge...
Its nice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Madam, is it not? The ANC folks are miles away, then?

by K on November 25 2011, 04:14

Does the skunk not know of Charlene's history which was . .more

by Mute Fool on November 26 2011, 12:57
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@Siyabonga Cwele
"the whistle blower act and similar mechanisms...SA has those as well..."
Except in SA you will sit in jail for 25 years for revealing the corruption of this ANC regime.

by Jeff on November 26 2011, 13:41
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Mr dot and the UK
Now, why do we keep referring to the UK? Not for one moment Mr dot do I suggest that the UK is a bastion of civil liberty (although I'd rather live there than in North Korea for instance). But we should be looking at this on PRINCIPLE, not saying to . .more

by stanley on November 26 2011, 15:17
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The Lord of the Rings?
... just paying a visit to this blog and read something about "impotent dwarf's rapists and skunks". So is this the Lord of the Rings fan site? Ah, good. Bilbo Baggins for President I say.

by Lance on November 26 2011, 15:21
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History repeats itself ... repeats itself ... repeats itself ....
We forget too quickly. Dot: do you have any idea what it was like under apartheid - the memory and the experience of the violation of personal freedom would make you into an opponent of this bill. Or is it just one more case of Orwell's Animal Farm (worth . .more

by George Orwell fan on November 26 2011, 15:29
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@Mute Fool
The refrain may be boring but it is relevant as countries with similiar classification systems for state information (UK & USA) are generally considered bastions of freedom globally...so RSA producing a similar classification system will help defend its . .more

by . on November 26 2011, 17:00
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@Jeff
You believe that only in SA you will sit in jail for 25 years for revealing the corruption of this ANC regime...what about Bradley Manning?

by . on November 26 2011, 17:02
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@Stanley
I keep on referring to the UK as it is recognized for its long history of democracy and freedoms and even after all these years with an Official Secrets Act with no public interest clause, few suggest it is not free or democratic, yet SA only wants to . .more

by . on November 26 2011, 17:19
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@George Orwell Fan
I'm also fond of Orwell although The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov is a worthy contender...

Seeing as how most in SA barricade themselves in their homes, activate the electric fence and motion detectors,review the surveillance camera . .more

by . on November 26 2011, 17:41
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I wish it were so Mr dot!
" ... Big Brother approach until resolved. It need not be forever..."

Gosh, you have tremendous faith in the capacity of those in power to show humility!

But its unlikely. Once Big Brother is your Big Brother, he likes to remain your Big . .more

by Stanley on November 26 2011, 17:47
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@Stanley
Change those in power to introduce the change you want..Yes I have faith that SA will remain democratic...

by . on November 26 2011, 17:54
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Apologies
My apologies to Mute Fool. I had no idea this was the same Charlene (http://www.charlenesmith.net/about_us.asp) - now your dwarf/rape comment makes sense. also why she may have chosen to live elsewhere.

by Lance on November 26 2011, 17:57
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@Dotty Cwele
"it shows you how ready much of the world is to find America guilty if taking away a man's right to regular pajamas can be elevated into a crime against human rights."
Prisoners are subjected to worse treatment in Pollsmoor than this traitor is . .more

by Jeff on November 26 2011, 18:55
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@Ditty Dotty
"If the voters did not trust the Government to look after their interests the Government would not get elected....right? ."
Wrong! SA voters are largely a bunch of uneducated people who fall for the myth that the ANC defeated Apartheid. They have no . .more

by Jeff on November 26 2011, 19:01
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@Jeff
The demonstrators number 100's maybe 1000's even Malema could raise more than that without rent-a-crowd...and that is from a population of millions...the numbers are such it would not slow down the line in Woolworths if they all went to buy a cool . .more

by . on November 26 2011, 19:38
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Oh YES-PLENTY LIBERALS & LEFTIES LIVING OUT OF SOUTH AFRICA
I never cease to be amazed at how many of the anti-apartheid bigot brigade have left South Africa and are now living elsewhere. The basest of all hypocrites...
And let all Afrikaners not forget what Nadine Gordimer said and I quote "Afrikaner women . .more

by Hard a' Starboard on November 26 2011, 21:00
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@Hard a' Starboard
There is no substantive source for that Nadine Gordimer quote. No newspaper, no magazine, no book, no recording, no video coverage, no interview...just a blog entry "claim"...

by . on November 26 2011, 21:23
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No dotty dot, your refrain is boring because it IS irrelevant.
And stupid to boot as you're still stubbornly comparing apples with bananas! And voters can and do act stupidly too; the latest example being our ANC voters. To their credit they did NOT vote for the POSIB, that was foisted on them by the . .more

by Mute Fool on November 26 2011, 21:33
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A sentence from the foreword of "Mandela" by C Smith.
A sentence from the foreword of "Mandela" by Charlene Smith:

"He has left us a wonderful legacy - to strive to become increasingly one people with diverse cultures, languages, beliefs of different races - the Rainbow people of South . .more

by JVR on November 26 2011, 23:52
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@JVR
Nothing stopping you from emigrating JVR. You do not need a British passport to go to England. There are millions there without such a passport, including many Afrikaners.
No-one in this country is stopping you from speaking Afrikaans whenever and . .more

by Jeff on November 27 2011, 11:01
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Apartheid returns
First the ANC dysfunctionalised education so that blacks would only be fit to be hewers of wood and bearers of water
Then they reintroduced the secrecy laws


Dr Verwoerd is so proud of them.

by Racist = ANCspeak means someone who thinks (differently) on November 27 2011, 11:38
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POSI and Charlene Smith
Ms Smith commands great respect within and among many members of the ANC for the brave work that she as well as many other journalists did under the apartheid regime.
Ms Smith does fail to note that the selfsame apartheid legislation is still on the . .more

by Stuart on November 27 2011, 19:55
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Mr Jeff
Strangely Mr Jeff, that Charlene Smith wrote with great pride "one people with diverse cultures, languages, beliefs of different races - the Rainbow people...", but that this vision of diversity apparently does NOT include Afrikaans medium universities . .more

by JVR on November 27 2011, 20:05
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@ Jeff
There's absolutely no reason why JVR and others like him should have to consider emigrating.
There's every reason why the immoral, corrupt and hopelessy incompetent ANC should move aside - or preferably, be forcefully taken out - as soon as . .more

by Hard a' Starboard on November 27 2011, 20:19
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Civilised, intelligent, transparent and well-structured rule
Where?

by . on November 27 2011, 20:36
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Could the passing of the POIB be a ploy for something bigger given current turmoil?
It's never good to speculate. However, I can't ignore these thoughts & tell me if this can't be plausible:

Proposition: Msholozi must be the key driver of this Bill because he will be the "winner" either way regardless of the final outcome. Let . .more

by Logic Spotter on November 27 2011, 22:31
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@Jeff
A white Afrikaner today called me a "traiter" to whites for not voting DA. I didnt argue with the poor soul and said nothing because she does not even now what her party stand for. The DA and the liberals are just a fad and the 'shine" will soon erode as . .more

by Republican on November 27 2011, 22:34
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Lastly
Smith, Max and others can fight their own media war because this is not our problem!

by Republican on November 27 2011, 22:42
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Another Dot-like idiot?
The "question" put is :

"OR does Ms Smith believe that her adopted country can have an Official Secrets/Patriots Act but not SA or other African third world counties.
Then what example should we follow and which country should we base our . .more

by Mute Fool on November 27 2011, 22:56
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Good question!
"Civilised, intelligent, transparent and well-structured rule
Where?

by . on November 27 2011, 20:36"

The question "Where?" is almost impossible to answer. However the question : "Where not?" is easily answered : ANC-ruled . .more

by Mute Fool on November 28 2011, 11:30
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by . on November 26 2011, 17:54

@Dot says:- "Yes I have faith that SA will remain democratic..."

...after @Stanley had responded to an earlier Dot-ism:- "Gosh, you have tremendous faith in the capacity of those in power to show humility ! "

So DOT will have us all . .more

by John Austin on November 28 2011, 12:36
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@Mute Fool
Yes, answering the simple questions may be your natural limit, but for some of us it's the search for answers to the difficult questions that produce the greatest benefit... :-)

Utopia has a "Civilised, intelligent, transparent and . .more

by . on November 28 2011, 17:08
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@Hard a'Starboard
"Personally, like JVR, I prefer civilised, intelligent, transparent and well-structured rule."
And you think this is what Afrikaner Nationalist Apartheid rule was?

by Jeff on November 28 2011, 19:01
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@JVR
"...set out to create a diverse rainbow SA, which will be ONLY English. Just English, that is diverse enough."
Funny you should say that, when I llived in Bellville and worked for the then Western Cape Education Dept., English barely featured socially . .more

by Jeff on November 28 2011, 19:09
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@Republican
"The Catalans were treated like scum by Franco who was a Hitler fan."
Yes I am well aware of European history, a number of my father's communist coalminer friends went to fight against Franco, and some of them came home minus limbs. My father chose to . .more

by Jeff on November 28 2011, 19:15
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@Republican
As for the Kurds, muslims seem hell bent on killing each other all over the world. Nothing I can do about that, and in fact I couldn't care less. People who kill each other over religion or tribalism, are exactly the same as natioalists, they can't think . .more

by Jeff on November 28 2011, 19:19
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@JVR, Republican, Hard a'Starboard
The trouble with Afrikaner nationalist is that they suffer from a victim mentality. They are often quick to complain about Black African victim mentality, but they suffer from the same problem.
Afrikaners were not the only people to suffer at the . .more

by Jeff on November 28 2011, 19:30
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Victim mentality not the sole province of Afrikaners
Who complains about Black African victim mentality? Oh the Afrikaners! And the English and others I take it, do not?
Dr. Onyeani (an author you are possibly averse to) certainly complains about it, in fact he states clearly that it's time for . .more

by @ Jeff and other Afrikaner-bashers on November 28 2011, 23:02
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@Jeff and other Afrikaner-bashers
I am not an Afrikaner basher, I am an Afrikaner Nationalist basher, just as I am a basher of any racial nationalism. There's nothing snide about my put-downs, they are aimed at racist national thinking and the idea that some Afrikaners think they are . .more

by Jeff on November 29 2011, 19:10
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The Sush Bill - shush
Even I do not understand this Bill. In our heart of hearts we all know that it is to hide the dreadful corruption. To hide the secrets, the stealing. Its like the rapist telling his victim not to reveal what he has done to that person. Our country is . .more

by Marie van Graan - Westonaria on December 07 2011, 17:09
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Beware of Charlene Smith
Charlene Smith remains a dense, formulaic and uncritical writer. It started with her hysterical embrace of the HIV causes AIDS dogma which she cannot discard despite massive evidence of its anti-scientific nonsense. Readers beware.

by Van der Merwe on December 20 2011, 20:21
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