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Blogs for free press

Bloggers For a Free Press

I’m sure you’re aware by now of the slander campaign launched by the ANC Youth League’s spokesperson Nyiko Floyd Shivambu against journalists they perceive to be against the Youth League. This campaign is especially directed against City Press journalist Dumisani Lubisi. You’ll remember that he was instrumental in exposing Julius Malema’s interests in various companies.

The move taken by the ANCYL is disturbing, especially their response to the letter written by 19 of the country’s most influential political journalists, asking the ANC to distance itself from the actions of the Youth League and Floyd Shivambu, where they basically told these journalists to sod off. More than that, Shivambu then threatened the journalists who refused to run his slanderous story.

This is a definite step towards dictatorial rule. I for one, am not willing to sit idly by as people in our ruling party flagrantly infringe on media freedom and other Constitutional rights.
I’ve invited a number of South African bloggers to publish a message to the ANC and the Youth League on Wednesday, condemning the actions of Shivambu and calling on them to distance themselves from such practices. We also reminds the ANC of the vital role played by the the press in the liberation struggle.

If you’re a South African blogger and are interested in joining, then drop me an email at [email protected] Alternately, you can reach me on Twitter (@ComradeSipho). I’ll fill you in with
further details and put you on the SpeakZA mailing list.

If you’re on Twitter, the hashtag is #SpeakZA. Let’s get the word out there.
Sipho Hlongwane

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.