It’s been a while since I blew off some steam about things that tick me off. Two issues have got me fuming to the point where I can’t keep my mouth shut. These issues have raised the following question in my psyche: “Are we heading towards a totalitarian government in South Africa?”
The proposed South African Media Tribunal: A while ago the ANC released a document that recommends regulation of the print media in South Africa. Since then the SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande has called for this saying that the “media should held accountable for its actions” and also described the self-regulation Press Ombudsman as “toothless and ruthless”. Today the ANC Youth League has responded with great support for a Media Tribunal.
If you ask me this sounds like one of the first steps towards totalitarism in South Africa. One of the first things that Hitler and Mugabe did at the beginning of their respective reigns was to put measures in place to control the media. If the Media Tribunal is implemented it will be in clear violation of the right to freedom of speech South Africans have (and sometimes take for granted). This is just another way that the fats cats are trying to stop the press from exploiting their corruption.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that there are many South African government officials that do their jobs and work an honest day for honest pay, but not all of them do. I can’t believe that the ANC would resolve to Apartheid-style tactics to cover their dealings. Weren’t the ANC against similar tactics imposed by the Apartheid government? Luckily the South African Press Council has called this proposed Media Tribunal unconstitutional. Isn’t this behaviour a little undemocratic? Are South Africans gonna allow this to happen? Is this another step to removing rights from South Africans? (Like FICA and RICA). Only time will tell if this will actually happen, but I’m praying that it won’t.
Deputy Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is looking at ways to ban pornography on the internet and cellphones. He’s trying to fast track this regulation through goverment. The suggested program could be described as the same as ones in place to safeguard children in place in China, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. If this goes through South Africa is heading down a very scary path. If you ask me, the government is way too obsessed with censorship. I’m not saying that porn is right or wrong. I’m merely saying that government deciding what you should watch, read, wear or do in the privacy of your own home is not cool at all.
There’s no need for the South African government to act like this is a 1st world country (despite the fact that we have received international praise for hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup). South Africa has third world problems like high crime, poor education and lack of housing. Implementing a proposed system like this could cost millions or even billions of Rands. Those Rands could be better spent on ensuring that the younger generation receives proper education or have a better place to live in. If you ask me its stupid to block adults from using a service just to protect children. It’s also stupid to block a service when only 6 million people in a country with a population of 49 million are actively online.
There are existing measures that can be implemented to block children’s access to pornography (like Net Nanny). It’s parents responsibility to teach their children what is right or wrong, not the government’s responsibility (in my opinion). If this proposed ban is implemented it will be another step towards totalitarism in South Africa.
There are already some of my followers on Twitter that are saying that we’re already the subjects of a government that wants to impose Apartheid style censorship in South Africa. Let’s hope that these 2 things don’t happen. I like living in a democracy. I will not like to live in a police state.
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf’s Rant