SpeakZA – Bloggers for a Free Press

SpeakZA – Bloggers for a Free Press

Last week, shocking revelations concerning the activities of the ANC Youth League spokesperson Nyiko Floyd Shivambu came to the fore. According to a letter published in various news outlets, a complaint was laid by 19 political journalists with the Secretary General of the ANC, against Shivambu. This complaint letter detailed attempts by Shivambu to leak a dossier to certain journalists, purporting to expose the money laundering practices of Dumisani Lubisi, a journalist at the City Press. The letter also detailed the intimidation that followed when these journalists refused to publish these revelations.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the reprisals against journalists by Shivambu. His actions constitute a blatant attack on media freedom and a grave infringement on Constitutional rights. It is a disturbing step towards dictatorial rule in South Africa. We call on the ANC and the ANC Youth League to distance themselves from the actions of Shivambu. The media have, time and again, been a vital democratic safeguard by exposing the actions of individuals who have abused their positions of power for personal and political gain.

The press have played a vital role in the liberation struggle, operating under difficult and often dangerous conditions to document some of the most crucial moments in the struggle against apartheid. It is therefore distressing to note that certain people within the ruling party are willing to maliciously target journalists by invading their privacy and threatening their colleagues in a bid to silence them in their legitimate work.

We also note the breathtaking hubris displayed by Shivambu and the ANC Youth League President Julius Malema in their response to the letter of complaint. Shivambu and Malema clearly have no respect for the media and the rights afforded to the media by the Constitution of South Africa. Such a response serves only to reinforce the position that the motive for leaking the so-called dossier was not a legitimate concern, but an insolent effort to intimidate and bully a journalist who had exposed embarrassing information about the Youth League President.

We urge the ANC as a whole to reaffirm its commitment to media freedom and other Constitutional rights we enjoy as a country.

Blog Roll

http://thoughtleader.co.za/siphohlongwane
http://rwrant.co.za
http://vocfm.co.za/blogs/munadia/
http://vocfm.co.za/blogs/shafiqmorton/
http://blogs.news24.com/needpoint
http://capetowngirl.co.za
http://thoughtleader.co.za/sentletsediakanyo
http://thoughtleader.co.za/davidjsmith
http://letterdash.com/one-eye-only
http://boyuninterrupted.blogspot.com
http://amandasevasti.com
http://blog.empyrean.co.za/
http://letterdash.com/brencro
http://6000.co.za
http://chrisroper.co.za
http://pieftw.com
http://hamishpillay.wordpress.com
http://memoirs4kimya.blogspot.com
http://thoughtleader.co.za/azadessa
http://watkykjy.co.za
http://fredhatman.co.za
http://thelifeanddeathchronicles.blogspot.com/
http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/common-dialogue/
http://clivesimpkins.blogs.com/
http://mashadutoit.wordpress.com
http://nicharalambous.com
http://sarocks.co.za
http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/stompies/
http://helenmoffett.book.co.za/blog/
http://01universe.blogspot.com
http://groundwork.worpress.com
http://iwrotethisforyou.me
http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za
http://attentiontodetail.wordpress.com
http://blogs.women24.com/editor
http://www.missmillib.blogspot.com
http://snowgoose.co.za
http://dreamfoundry.co.za
http://www.vanoodle.blogspot.com
http://www.exmi.co.za
http://cat-dubai.blogspot.com
http://alistairfairweather.com
http://www.zanedickens.com
http://www.nickhuntdavis.com
http://guysa.blogspot.com
http://book.co.za
http://baldy.co.za
http://skinnylaminx.com
http://blogs.african-writing.com/zukiswa
http://www.mielie.wordpress.com
http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/gatherer/
http://thoughtleader.co.za/sarahbritten
http://stii.co.za
http://blogs.news24.com/FSB_AP
http://twistedkoeksuster.blogspot.com
http://whensmokegetsinyoureyes.blogspot.com/
http://trinklebean.wordpress.com
http://commentry.wordpress.com/
http://matthewbuckland.com
http://blogs.news24.com/colour-me-fran
http://gormendizer.co.za
http://helenmoffett.book.co.za/blog/
http://www.harassedmom.co.za
http://ravingfans.co.za
http://khadijapatel.co.za
http://simon.co.za/speakza
http://gnatj.com
http://moralfibre.co.za
http://www.exmi.co.za
http://fsi.org.za/

Tomorrow

Tomorrow, 6000 miles… will join many other South African blogs taking part in Sipho Hlongwane’s #SpeakZA campaign against the ANC Youth League’s recent attacks on media freedom.

On Thursday March 18, Sipho Hlongwane, a 21-year-old law student from the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, read a piece on the Daily Maverick news site entitled, “Political journalists complain to the boss about ANC Youth League spokesman Floyd Shivambu.” The piece, you may remember, republished a letter sent by nineteen of the country’s top political journalists to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. The journalists’ complaint was that Shivambu had threatened them when they questioned the authenticity of a dossier he’d attempted to leak. The subject of the dossier? The private life of City Press reporter Dumisani Lubisi, who, you may also remember, was instrumental in exposing Youth League president Julius Malema’s various business interests.

Hlongwane, on reading this and further concerns raised in the letter – for instance, Malema’s public warning that he’d personally “arrest” journalists caught breaking the law (ja, he said it) – realised he was being informed of a worrying new phenomenon.

“For the first time I got a shock,” he remembers. “I realised the lengths to which the ANC Youth League would go. This was the most blatant attack on media freedom I could remember. I thought, ‘What can I do?’ Social media seemed like a good answer.”

Link

Word on the street is that the campaign post may well include the word “hubris”, and if you think that sounds a bit rude, maybe you need to go and look it up. Or you can just pretend you know what it means and giggle about Floyd Shivambu’s (apparently “breathtaking”) hubris, like I did.

UPDATE: Sipho’s thoughts are now up on 6000 miles… and a whole lot of other blogs, too.