News24

Apartheid-era laws being used - expert

2012-10-19 22:14

Johannesburg - The media coverage of the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home required government to "dust off" apartheid-era legislation, media law expert Dario Milo said on Friday.

"The Public Works Minister's [Thulas Nxesi] response to the [Nkandla] expose was twofold," Milo said at Wits University in Johannesburg.

"[These were] to call for the City Press, which first broke the story, to be investigated for the crime of unlawfully processing a 'top secret' document, and to refuse to answer questions about the Nkandla funding because it had been declared a 'national key point'."

He said both these propositions required Nxesi to use apartheid-era security legislation such as the Protection of Information Act of 1982 and the National Key Points Act of 1980.

"This is hardly the type of legislation I would want to be relying on if I were in the minister's position."

The use of these laws was a current threat to media freedom and was being used to stifle transparency and accountability, he said.

City Press reported that R203m of taxpayers' money would be spent on the upgrade, with Zuma paying only five percent of the bill - around R10m.

On 5 October, Nxesi said that Zuma's Nkandla home was not unique and was part of the work undertaken at various security sites.

"When President Zuma was elected president, it was a requirement understood by all that the security would have to be beefed up at places of high security risk," Nxesi said at the time.

He said the same upgrades were done in Houghton and Qunu, where former president Nelson Mandela's homes were situated, at the Union Buildings, at the president's office at Tuynhuis, Parliament, and at King's House in Durban.

Milo was speaking at a SA Media Freedom Day event, hosted by the SA National Editors Forum, the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism and the university.

Media Freedom Day commemorates 19 October 1977 which was known as "Black Wednesday" when, under the apartheid government, three newspaper were banned and journalists jailed.

Milo said those in power had to try to refrain from readily turning to defamation or dignity law to stifle criticism of their official conduct.

"The best example of a person wielding this power who is fond of using defamation and dignity laws is our very own President Jacob Zuma," he said.

"Between 2006 and 2010, the president instituted court action in 15 cases, suing eight newspapers, a radio station, two cartoonists, a columnist, op-ed writers, and journalists."

That was nearly four lawsuits a year, he said.

"The majority of [Zuma's] claims, which total over R50m, are not about news stories that the president regards as inaccurate, but rather concern criticism of his conduct."

This was all after Zuma saying in his inauguration address in 2009 that "we must defend the freedom of the media".

Despite the threats to media freedom Milo said he took solace in the courts and urged the media to feel the same.

"It is our courts after all who have the final say in matters of media freedom," he said.

Comments
  • nicholas.graan - 2012-10-19 22:34

    Nothing like a bit of Apartheid law when you need it, especially to protect the old back pocket!

      sheik.mohammad.378 - 2012-10-19 23:50

      Apatheid has it's use within the ANC when they have their backs to the wall.

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-10-20 11:23

      This government still needs them, thats why they still on the books. Something to hide behind, not that they've ever been shy to remain silent when they really should be outspoken.

      willem.vanrensburg.562 - 2012-10-20 12:59

      BEE, AA and the buddy, buddy, comrade system is apartheid.

      Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-10-21 08:40

      The old Apartheid laws can become very useful. That's why they don't repeal them. Robert Mugabe did exactly the same thing. They use the old 'repressive regime' tools for their own cover up purposes.

  • BulletProof. - 2012-10-19 22:40

    Certain laws even if they are from the apartheid era are very convenient as long they can fill ZOOOOMA POCKETS.RIDICOULOUS

      zondra.hoffmann - 2012-10-20 23:14

      You are so right - give that man a Bells!!!

  • nkhangwe.madzivh - 2012-10-19 22:59

    We are in trouble,I can't imagine how worse it will get if Zoooooom get a second term,we are even afraid to mentioned his name,here is the question we should ask our selfs ,do we have the power to change the situations?

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-19 23:04

      Of course we do. As long as we have a Constitution and a free press, we can change it. Vote, don't vote, spoil your ballot, start a new party, stop accepting rubbish from the people you hired (voted for)and take them to court when they break their promises. Don't fall the "please be patient, you're call will be answered" line. Ask aspirant nominees really tough questions like WHEN and HOW - show me the plan (and the money). As consumers we're pretty good at not taking BS from service providers, time we started treating our local, regional and national government in the same way.

  • graham.greeff - 2012-10-19 22:59

    Who knows.Eventually when these people have killed all the cattle,cut down all the trees, spent all the tax payers money ( those who pay tax ) we will land up just like the rest of Africa. Dictators living like kings and people with nothing. 30 years ago when our folk from Rhosesia fled they said watch.What a pity I ddi not move to Europe or America or even better a remote island where I could grow my own vegetables and have peace of mind. Shame on you money grabbing politicians and people that want to destroy this wonderful country.

      zondra.hoffmann - 2012-10-20 23:21

      Yes, I also wonder why in heaven's name I decided to stay in South Africa many years ago. We have the most beautiful country which is now, piece by piece being vandalised, destroyed and ruined for every child who still wants to do something with their lives! It is such a pity that GREED and POWER have become more important than life itself.

  • pawel.poniatowski.3 - 2012-10-19 23:12

    wow amazing!!

  • pjg313 - 2012-10-19 23:15

    Only fools believe we live in a democracy. How can it be a democracy when the majority who have the "power" to vote are illiterate? They vote for the black face that promise them wealth without labour...prosperity without discipline...progress without education. This black face can be any body...whoever is the favorite of the people who control the money. President Zuma happens to be the flavour of the month. Next Mohlante...then Malema. They are all pawns. Even De Klerk and his hencemen were pawns. The problem is not apartheid. The problem is greed. Until the people of ALL races stand up together against this cancer, there will NEVER be freedom in South Africa. No freedom...no progress...no peace...no equality...no progress.

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-20 04:05

      Pjg, very well put indeed.

      burningdogz - 2012-10-20 08:55

      Really Melvin? Apartheid banned schools in black area and ensured that they got no education? Was it apartheid who said freedom before education? No. On the contrary there were many schools built in township area, and although they were not up to par with the schools built in the white area they were better than the bookless white elephants we have today. Secondly, I know many many well educated black folks today, they made the best of what they had and choose education before liberty. Secondly, what is your excuse today? Was it apartheid that cause the education system to fail today? Was it apartheid's fault that the responsible people couldn't organise textbooks to be dropped off at Limpopo or that unqualified teachers are getting paid or the principles take 9 month long sick leave for no particular reason or that children are toi-toiing with the ANCYL during school time instead of reading a bloody book? I can go on and on and on and on and on but sadly since no-one is pitching up for school I fear the term "take responsibility" will be lost in translation. Frankly the only words people seem to learn is a handful of catch phrases found in the dictionaries given out at ANCYL rallies: "Revolutionary", "Blame apartheid", "Comrades", "Economic Freedom" and yada yada yada.

      pjg313 - 2012-10-20 10:38

      Hi Melvin, I have a black friend who is 2 years older than I am, which means he grew up in the old South Africa under the apartheid regime. Through sheer WILL, self control, hard work and dedication he managed an education that sees him living in the UK today with a British passport earning an above average living. I am still friends with him and visited him twice already in the UK, AND lived in his house. So, when and why did he leave South Africa? In 2003 finally. Mainly because he got sick and tired of his black brothers moaning and bitching about how apartheid is to blame for everything. Those who, instead of accepting things for what they are and lifting THEMSELVES out of the mud, sit around and wait for somebody to do it FOR them! If I tell you his story, it is a miracle he is where he is today. Yet HE did it! IN SPITE OF APARTHEID! IN SPITE OF HIS BLACK SKIN! I have the world of respect for him. The fact that he is black makes no difference. It is a victory of the human spirit over adversity. I challenge you to cheapen his accomplishments with some racist rhetoric. Only a fool will dare speak against the amazing accomplishments of this man. Tell us your story.

  • graham.greeff - 2012-10-19 23:43

    Well said Pig. Basically it boils down to no hope. Did you read how much money was spent in entertainment in the last financial years for all those sleeping nose pickers ? Does one actually think that we rode down the nile on a bycicle or whose intellgence is going to be insulted once again. One can just imagine not us normal law abiding citizens.

  • graham.greeff - 2012-10-19 23:47

    Sorry pjp ( not pig )

  • declan.kelly.54 - 2012-10-20 00:17

    The problem is that there seem to be a lot of people who support the ANC, but oppose Zuma and his cronies. Unfortunately, those people don't have a say about whether Zuma goes or stays. That's all up to the people who he and his cadres put into positions of power. It's a bad system, and one that should change.

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-10-20 00:23

    Zuma is a thief

  • graham.greeff - 2012-10-20 00:40

    Declan I couldn't agree with you more. If I am not a member of the party in power then I have no say or vote for the next President (should I use capitle P ). This is a lof of rubbish. Yes we might form part of the minority but our system should be changed to one of the American Nature. People come out and vote for the next Leader irrespective of who is in power. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Thanduxolo Galada - 2012-10-20 02:16

    Mr President with all D.R. a life lesson from a young South African. Surround yourself with principled people who speak truth in your life, most especially the inconvenient truth. It would seem to me the folks that you surround yourself with mislead you or you disregard what they say. It's near impossible to set apart your person to that of RSA President for both are marred by indignity. That is a cry, concern, frustration from South Africans - we aren't compromised by access to purse strings/favors so we can tell it like it is.

      tasmee.hylkema - 2012-10-20 21:21

      excellent comment, totally eloquent!

      zondra.hoffmann - 2012-10-20 23:28

      The President needs nobody to mislead him, he does that all by himself. He does not surround him with people who should be telling him what is est for the country, he decides - all on his own - what's best for him and his cronies and family.

  • clinton.bowden1 - 2012-10-20 02:35

    ANC = Apartheid's New Comarades

  • tony.naidoo - 2012-10-20 04:25

    Zoombie is a knuckle-head puppet. He is incapable of enacting any kind of legislation. We should be targetting Mac Maharaj. He puts words in Zoombie's gob. The puppeteer should cop the flak for the dismal failure of the presidency!Operation Vula is long over!

  • piet.strydom - 2012-10-20 04:34

    If Zuma needs so much more security than PW, does it mean that he is that much worse?

      gregory.jurgens - 2012-10-20 05:13

      He needs the extra security to protect all his stolen goods.

      byron.scott.754 - 2012-10-20 07:08

      It means he has no control over his people and he fears them!

      mullerier - 2012-10-20 14:24

      ooh....that was sharp!! In light of the current leadership´s lack of "kragdadigheid", one actually sympathizes with the old "crocodile"!

  • B.b. - 2012-10-20 06:03

    Most of the Acts that we all refer to when we want solutions were drafted years back,,,like The Basic Conditions of Employment Act 3 of 1983,,,,,,

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-10-20 06:15

    More security,,,,more to hide!!! Makes you think, does'nt it???

  • zoe.mandlana - 2012-10-20 06:26

    If I were president JZ I would just not push for sec. term, there is too much not so good in his administration. If he has any morals or dignity left, he should for once forget his advisers, take a deep introspection and he would see, from how he was elected as president up to date there's not a single positive thing about him. Yes not everyone can love/like a person, for him there are too many errors,the bad outweighs the good (if there are any good things that he has done). This is an embarrassment not only to the country but much to his family too. Is he is re-elected by the time he's term is over (because he won't be the president forever), he won't have a bit of dignity or respect left.

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-20 06:44

      He needs to be president to keep empowering China in this country and his own greed.

      rowan.clark.10 - 2012-10-20 08:31

      The decay in our leadership is viewed across a wide spectrum here . When these concerns are condensed ,it weighs heavily on the shoulders of our immiscibly corrupt , cohesively wasteful , self serving, vision lacking, procrastinating, and alienated regime . The solution being very simple, replace them with competent people and use your vote wisely .A better live and jobs jobs jobs once bragged about starts with Education and being skilled for life , a sustainable economy, a stable population ,adding value to export resources , development maintenance planning and rolling out basics services . Don’t you think we need clever and skilled people looking after the RSA before it vrots more !!!.

      mullerier - 2012-10-20 14:34

      Zoe, I am afraid our leader seems to lack the ability to feel embarrassed (enraged yes), and particularly when personally criticized, then he eagerly resorts to filing law suits...or relies on Apartheid laws, certainly not the actions of a man who is comfortable with introspection. A classic case of everybody else must be wrong. But, then again...I may be wrong....

  • davy.botha - 2012-10-20 06:45

    On numerous occasions this president has used the law to divert attempts to get to the truth. This is always the acts of guilty people. In this issue and the papers that the NPA has to give to the DA all points to our president being as corrupt as they come. Shame on you Mr President

      tylers.mabona - 2012-10-20 07:40

      Whn thy fired Julius thy sd cld many words n threw many knives as thy cld to hv hm out, nw trueth is if insted of listenin 2wht he ws sayn mostly, thy listend 2hs big mouth so thy say hs gt a big mouth, bt honestly our president is failin da reason of inkululeko(freedom), hs failin da reason y our icon uTata served thouz many many years bhind bars fitin 4inkululeko along wt fellow comrades, bt let us remember tht wht ever is being done in da dark wil come 2da lyt, evry prsn's rong doings catches up wt thm @ da end.

  • maake.steven - 2012-10-20 06:53

    this is what happen when you listen to big mouth, why did u elect a person with No education into the biggest office in SA, Ths guy is obviously abusing state resources and tax payers money and nobody seems to be doing anythn abt it,

  • phahla.matwa - 2012-10-20 06:54

    They r covering corruption. Wu 'll sav us frm thse criminals

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-10-20 06:57

    My friends,media practitioners,facebook friends,Mr Mkhaliphi(Mhlwane),Mr Magini,Mlamla please comment on this story. This is unacceptable. I agree with this media expert

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-10-20 06:58

    My friends,media practitioners,facebook friends,Mr Mkhaliphi(Mhlwane),Mr Magini,Mlamla please comment on this story. This is unacceptable. I agree with this media expert 100 %

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-10-20 07:09

    Where did Zuma get R10 m ? B4 elected Prez Shabir 'lent' him R150 k to survive!! The do*s no doubt benefited from the ARMS deal & stealing..like he is now doing with his compound 4 LARD@RSES !!

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-10-20 07:10

    @thanduxolo Galada You are right, no intelectual thinks like that. Now show me one, Please don't classify anyone i the curent dispensation as intelectual. Unfortunately, Irene is completely right AND they use it as a tool to have things their way.

  • mxeki.maduvula - 2012-10-20 07:11

    Why is DA so relaxed? Cant they see that de poor SA citizens are in danger. Wake up DA and remove these charlatans! I beg you Helen!

      jenny.smithvos - 2012-10-31 08:47

      DA can only do this with our help.

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-10-20 07:13

    @ Thanduxolo Galada, sound to me that you are one of the "born frees" that can pass matric without thinking or reasoning. You said it. I rest my case.

  • hengu.willemse - 2012-10-20 07:25

    Mr. Zuma while you're at it please give police shambocks and re-instate the anti-loitering act and "aandklok reel" then you can effect some good at least.

  • chirnsidep - 2012-10-20 07:25

    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/becomes+disease+cure/7402381/story.html

  • john.s.stalwart - 2012-10-20 07:31

    When the butterflies of excitement in presidential inauguration ripped through his liver the president was keen to protect the media becos he was convinced that the media had played a pivotal role in his election and even set up a direct line to his office promising to hear and act upon all public matters making sure that every media outlet covered the new improvement by the new president,but now that the seat is hotter than expected and the work more stressful than anticipated,the only way to release the tension and quench the prominent everyday confusion is to abuse the state resources in the name of doing one's job. It is shameful that in the 21st century the media can be expected to take orders from a ruling party,it just misinterpretes the word journalism itself. There's no questioning now therefore that if Nxesi see it fit to beef up security for mr Zuma at a cost of R2b then Zuma has much to hide and his extraordinary puppeteers knows that;why didn't Zuma's predecessor Mr Mbeki receive all those benefits in his tenure having directed the country into greener pastures for 10 years? Y this lazy crook?

      mullerier - 2012-10-20 14:45

      True. If only politicians would keep their promises...and if that is too challenging, then for heaven´s sake....steal ONLY a little bit...don´t bankrupt the bank! What happened to good old values??? Honesty, integrity and respect. Incidentally, the heart of respect is the ability to respect oneself! Once you can respect yourself...it becomes easier to respect one´s fellow human beings. The second step is...earning their respect!! Seems to me...the toughest hurdle! Yet, Mandela understood this basic premise beautifully.

      john.s.stalwart - 2012-10-20 16:50

      Mullerier the problem here started with the very presidential campaign in 2008,it had neither intergrity nor respect,the core values of a true leader fell during the song and dance brigade days and no one cared to re-gather them and that's why they are prominently absent at the moment,they are eaten up by the soil thanx to 'my machine gun,machine gun' days.

  • john.s.stalwart - 2012-10-20 07:31

    When the butterflies of excitement in presidential inauguration ripped through his liver the president was keen to protect the media becos he was convinced that the media had played a pivotal role in his election and even set up a direct line to his office promising to hear and act upon all public matters making sure that every media outlet covered the new improvement by the new president,but now that the seat is hotter than expected and the work more stressful than anticipated,the only way to release the tension and quench the prominent everyday confusion is to abuse the state resources in the name of doing one's job. It is shameful that in the 21st century the media can be expected to take orders from a ruling party,it just misinterpretes the word journalism itself. There's no questioning now therefore that if Nxesi see it fit to beef up security for mr Zuma at a cost of R2b then Zuma has much to hide and his extraordinary puppeteers knows that;why didn't Zuma's predecessor Mr Mbeki receive all those benefits in his tenure having directed the country into greener pastures for 10 years? Y this lazy crook?

  • john.s.stalwart - 2012-10-20 07:32

    When the butterflies of excitement in presidential inauguration ripped through his liver the president was keen to protect the media becos he was convinced that the media had played a pivotal role in his election and even set up a direct line to his office promising to hear and act upon all public matters making sure that every media outlet covered the new improvement by the new president,but now that the seat is hotter than expected and the work more stressful than anticipated,the only way to release the tension and quench the prominent everyday confusion is to abuse the state resources in the name of doing one's job. It is shameful that in the 21st century the media can be expected to take orders from a ruling party,it just misinterpretes the word journalism itself. There's no questioning now therefore that if Nxesi see it fit to beef up security for mr Zuma at a cost of R2b then Zuma has much to hide and his extraordinary puppeteers knows that;why didn't Zuma's predecessor Mr Mbeki receive all those benefits in his tenure having directed the country into greener pastures for 10 years? Y this lazy crook?

  • Hyrene Esterhuizen - 2012-10-20 07:52

    i am not getting out of bed due to apartheid.....lol

      Percy Nene - 2012-10-20 22:18

      hahahaha. oh yeah. whose gonna feed u?

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-10-20 08:27

    I'm not even surprised apartheid wage system is still in place, wine farm workers are paid R300 wtf! Now they are striking and I'm loving it, make Stellenbosch ungovernable! These ungrateful farmers are leasing their farms at R1 per year, deals that were entered upon by the apartheid gvt! Enough is enough rise up farm workers!

      zondra.hoffmann - 2012-10-20 23:53

      Yes Lerato - advertise your ignorance!! I say enough is enough to the ANC government - and all their family members - who have been feathering their own nests for far too long now. That is what you should be complaining about, because that affects the millions of poor, homeless and jobless people who were promised a better life. Your concern for the farm workers should also extend to all the farmers who are murdered on a daily basis because without the farmers we have no food. So get you act together and do the right thing!!!

      lerato.kay.3 - 2012-10-21 05:01

      Talk about ignorance, yes ANC might be corrupt but what does it have to do with white farmers under paying blacks?

  • mammudi.makgaleng.3 - 2012-10-20 08:31

    Mr president uses the legacy of the past to his failure to serve the country while he is the one using those apartheid-era laws for his self enrichment. I can't say much except there is confusion in that old man's head, poor reasoning capacity and lack of morals. He is so damn foolish to see that ANC s losing membership and the opposing parties will be in power to challenge his withdrawn illegal charges and believe me he won't go to jail but ll die by heart attack and his children and wives will suffer the consequences.

  • TdJ01 - 2012-10-20 08:34

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!

  • sxp - 2012-10-20 08:36

    Just shows how two faced these people and the regime are. They cannot be trusted and should be removed. Why a case in the concourt has not been made to get the ANC declared as criminals and removed, is beyond me.

      mullerier - 2012-10-20 14:50

      Maybe, because the courts are going the same way as the press?

  • FinalJustice - 2012-10-20 10:13

    Oh, great: So it's fine to use Apartheid-era laws when it suits their extravagant requirements, but not for anything else?

      zondra.hoffmann - 2012-10-20 23:57

      That's the Justice we have! Criminals rights are more important than law-abiding citizens and 90% of murders, robberies, rapes and other criminal activity in this country go unsolved, unpunished and the law-abiding citizens lock themselves in their jails at night!!!

  • AkhonaMashaya - 2012-10-20 11:52

    http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/We-were-free-20121008

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-10-20 12:04

    Apartheid laws come in handy when you have a pile of sh*t to hide.

      joe.smit.549 - 2012-10-20 12:06

      Lol. They obviously worked well, but you had to understand them.

  • AdriaanD.duPlessis - 2012-10-20 12:09

    I have a question. Why spend so much on Security? What are they scared off???????

      zondra.hoffmann - 2012-10-21 00:01

      Zuma is scared of what the police may find in his house!!! 4 other wives, 12 other children, somebody hiding in the "shower" - waiting for him - or maybe even some cash that has been stashed in a "safe" we had to provide for him!

  • mullerier - 2012-10-20 12:54

    At the rate that our President is indulging in lawsuits whenever he (personally, forget about the ANC for the moment) feels criticized....reverting to Apartheid laws, should at least save the taxpayers a few rands...

  • colingkearns - 2012-10-20 13:13

    The president is a crook and a thug, end of story.

  • chris.potgieter.73 - 2012-10-20 13:22

    Why are we surprised that "Kortbroek", an attorney, still has a lucrative portfolio with the ANC's Luthuli House deployed rotting cadavers? After another four years he gets a lifetime pension, full pay nogal, and can then start a consultancy to guide unsuspecting investors to the government trough raiders.

  • david.christianson1 - 2012-10-20 13:57

    plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

  • jaydee - 2012-10-20 15:55

    Mr. Zuma and co: Alexander the Great said that the day he dies all his worldly possessions should be packed out on the streets; his arms and hands should hang outside of his casket on the way to his burial, just to show that he came into this world with nothing and as sure as hell, he will depart with nothing! So why the hell are you and your cronies trying to gather riches which has been gained unlawfully!!!?

  • nsikelelo.ngcobo.1 - 2012-10-20 16:05

    The court alleged Hlophe had tried to influence two of its judges to rule in favour of President Jacob Zuma in a case involving the country's multi-billion rand arms deal. In this case Zuma must just seat back and relax and watch himself going down without any help.

  • nsikelelo.ngcobo.1 - 2012-10-20 16:05

    The court alleged Hlophe had tried to influence two of its judges to rule in favour of President Jacob Zuma in a case involving the country's multi-billion rand arms deal. In this case Zuma must just seat back and relax and watch himself going down without any help.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-10-20 20:31

    Apartheid laws are be4ng used all over,stop picking and choosing where they are being used.Start with the neo nazi assasins in the sap.

  • zondra.hoffmann - 2012-10-20 23:12

    Media freedom - to publish and report on any subject which may be of importance, fraud and corruption exposed and conduct not becoming of public figures - is of the utmost importance, and it is our duty to defend this freedom with everything we have. It is as important as being able to vote in an election. The moment a Government official is taken to task about wrongdoing, then it is a matter of state security!! What utter BS!! My tax money is being squandered, abused and fraudulently obtained and I must ignore and keep quiet about this? NO BLOODY WAY!!! Is it not time we REFUSE to pay tax?