ANC slams 'Black Tuesday' protest

2011-11-21 11:05
Johannesburg - The National Press Club's plans for this week's vote on the protection of state information bill are a senseless distortion of facts, the ANC Chief Whip in Parliament said on Monday.

"The only result this unfortunate comparison and the planned campaign, in which people are urged to dress in black, will achieve is to dilute the real history of the Black Wednesday and insult the victims of apartheid's barbaric laws," Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said in the statement.

The National Press Club (NPC) has asked people opposed to the bill to wear black clothing or a black ribbon or armband to express their opposition to the bill.

The name of the campaign refers to "Black Wednesday" on October 19 1977 when The World, Sunday World and Christian publication Pro Veritas were banned and almost 20 people or organisations were declared banned by the apartheid government.

'Black Tuesday'

The name of the campaign has been changed to "Black Tuesday", the day of the week on which the bill will be voted on in the National Assembly,

"Let's tell the government we are all opposed to censorship. It's crunch time. The nation needs to unite and stop this nonsense," NPC chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said on its Facebook page.

If the bill is passed the media will not be able to claim it acted in the public interest if it violated or was party to the violation of a law, or published classified information to substantiate a report on, for example, malpractice or corruption in government.

However, Motshekga said comparing the facts of Black Wednesday and the intended new law was "not only an irresponsible act of protest, but also gravely senseless".

"The reality of South Africa's vicious history should teach all of us never to campaign in a manner that trivialises the deep pain and suffering experienced by the majority of our people," he said.

Vote

After going through 123 amendments, the bill would be voted on in the National Assembly on Tuesday, but it was not the end of the road, he said.

It still had to move through the National Council of Provinces, before reaching finalisation.

He said the government had no intention to ban, torture or murder journalists and the rejection of a public interest defence was in line with international best practice on security in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

"We believe this is blatantly insensitive and a distortion of history."

- On Black Wednesday, editors Percy Qoboza and Aggrey Klaaste were taken to solitary confinement where they spent five months.

According The Sowetan archive, journalists such as Mathatha Tsedu, Joe Tlholoe, who is now the Press Ombudsman; and Don Mattera were detained and after their jail stay, were banned for five years.

Organisations banned included the Beyers Naude's Christian Institute and the Union of Black Journalists.

"Black Wednesday" followed the death in police detention of black consciousness activist Steve Biko, as well as a campaign to resist Bophutatswana becoming a "homeland" independent of South Africa.

- SAPA
Read more on:    npc  |  anc  |  mathole motshekga  |  yusuf abramjee  |  info bill  |  politics  |  media  |  legislation
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
162 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.