Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Black Tuesday

Pic from  TimesLive
In 2009 the Telegraph newspaper, using investigative journalism, uncovered a huge MP's expenses scandal. The results saw MPs resigning, being investigated, made to pay back money and in at least one case, imprisoned. 

Now let's imagine that instead of having the Freedom of Information Act which we have here in the UK, we have a brand new bill that has just been passed by South African MPs today - the The Protection of State Information Bill.  Under this bill, anyone possessing classified government documents can get up to 25 years in jail, with no defence of 'acting in the public interest'. 259 MPs voted in favour of the bill. Only 32 against.  As one commentator said:  'All those in favour of corruption:259. All those against:32'

Had we had this bill in the UK during the expenses scandal, the journalists uncovering the story would have been facing 25 year sentences instead of receiving journalism awards.

South Africa is the gateway to Africa, the country which, post apartheid, was meant to be a shining example to the rest of the continent on how to thrive. Yet with this single piece of legislation, the country is returning to the dark days of apartheid whereby it was illegal to speak out against the government. 

Wake up world. Wake up journalists. Take note. This is has severe implications for press freedom. Shouldn't more people outside of SA know about it?  As far as I can see, so far just the BBC have reported on this. 

Yes America might be anticipating Black Friday this week (the day after Thanksgiving when Americans begin their Christmas shopping in earnest). But personally, I think a few column inches could be given to South Africa's Black Tuesday instead.

PS - back to light-hearted flippancy shortly.


2 comments:

nappy valley girl said...

I hadn't heard about it - yes, seems a shocking move. Thanks for drawing attention to it.

Michael Snapp said...

Hi, i would like to comment on Doctor Osemu Okpamen and his dealing with my need. I contacted him in desperation over my girlfriend of a year that broke up with me and went back to her EX-boyfriend. Consequently the break up has been devastating so much so that I've considered and still consider suicide as my only option to relieve the pain and agony in me. I felt heart broken and it affected me that i couldn't concentrate properly at my place of work for i very much loved her and need to get her back and my last chance was getting a love spell. I entered on the website http://doctorokpamenpowerfulspelltemple.webs.com and made contact with the Doctor for i read that he has a lot of positive feedback with his spells. I’m not disappointed because my lover came back to me within 24 hours after getting a love spell from the Doctor called Osemu Okpamen. We are happy couples now and if you need any kind of help, Email him on ( doctorokpamenspelltemple@hotmail.com or whats-app +2348135254384 ). Michael Snapp, +1 (305) 647-6660 USA.