Johannesburg - The introduction of an "information
ministry" will have a devastating effect on democracy, DA parliamentary
leader Lindiwe Mazibuko
said on Friday.
"If the African National Congress wins this
election, President [Jacob] Zuma will reportedly set up a so-called
'Information Ministry' that will only tell the people the ANC’s good
stories," she said in eNtokozweni,
The last time South Africa had a ministry of information,
such as those existent in Zimbabwe, Russia, and China, was under the apartheid
regime, she said.
"There can be no clearer sign that the ANC wants to
take us off the road towards a mature democracy, and put us on the road to a
The introduction of a state organ of propaganda needed to
be fought "with everything we have", Mazibuko said.
The Mail & Guardian reported unnamed sources as
saying that such a ministry could be established if Zuma were elected for
another term as president.
Mazibuko warned that the ruling party aimed to protect
Zuma from scandal, citing the dissolution of the parliamentary ad hoc committee
which was set to consider Zuma's submissions on the public protector's report
on security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
Parliament carried the ANC's proposal to let the matter
stand over for the next Parliament to consider after the 7 May elections.
The committee said there was insufficient time to
complete the work as set out in the terms of reference before the current
parliamentary term ended.
Mazibuko said ANC MPs used their majority
"shamelessly" to shut down the committee.
"If the ANC was serious about fighting corruption,
if it wanted to show the people of our country that it acts in their best
interest, then it would have continued the work of the Nkandla committee.
"No, the ANC again chose to protect President Zuma
rather than protecting the people of South Africa."
She claimed that the protection of state information bill,
dubbed the secrecy bill, was written with the intention of keeping ANC
If Zuma signed the bill into law, the information
ministry would have a "devastating effect" on the country.
"The ANC does not like it when the people know the
truth so now they want to take away our right to question authority - they want
to take away our very freedom of speech.
"The DA will continue to fight for justice until
President Zuma answers for his role in the Nkandla scandal. We will fight
against corruption. We will fight against any propaganda ministry,"
According to the report, presidential spokesperson Mac
Maharaj would likely be appointed minister of information, with international
relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela earmarked for director general.
Maharaj reportedly said the matter was "totally out
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