Info Bill should hang in Apartheid Museum, says Zille

2010-09-18 15:48

The Protection of Information Bill and the ANC’s proposed media appeals tribunal are tools to mask corruption, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille said.

The party’s two leaders, Zille and Patricia De Lille, were marching from Parktown to the Constitutional Court in central Johannesburg today to protest against the bill and tribunal.

Addressing marchers outside the court on Constitutional Hill, Zille said the bill should be called “The protection of corruption bill”, as it seeks to protect corrupt ruling party members.

Zille referred to her experience as a journalist in the 1970s where the newspaper she worked for eventually closed down as a result of the apartheid media tribunal, which she says is the same as the one the ANC wants to introduce.

She said the apartheid media council wasn’t as bad as the one the ANC wants to introduce because it was headed by a judge the National Party tried to control.

She said: “This media tribunal will also be accountable to politicians. When I was 26, a judge found me guilty of misleading and this was the time I had just started my career in journalism. The newspaper had to publish an apology on the front page, even though we had a certificate to prove Steve Biko died of brain damage.”

Zille said the paper eventually had to close down because it always had to spend money defending itself against government.

This was before the DA and its followers headed to the Apartheid Museum in Xavier, to hand over a copy of the Protection of Information Bill.

“We are going to ask them to hang it in the museum, we want it up with the past laws, to show that the ANC laws belong in the Apartheid museum.”

The crowd was also addressed by DA youth leader, Makashula Gana who said the marchers’ did not march to the Constitutional Court because they wanted keep fit, but to prevent the erosion of the constitution and democracy.

“The Protection of Information Bill will take away blood from the hard earned democracy. If government was clean it would not be worried about anything,” Gana said.

“What type of government says it guards the nations national interest but wants to prevent flow of information to its citizens?” asked Gana.

De Lille, who was recently appointed MEC for Social Development in the Western Cape, after combining her party with the DA said: “The ANC thinks they have the right to steal from the poor.”

She accused the ruling party of a tendency to shoot the messenger and not reading the message.

She said the ANC could not blame the media when it reported on government crooks.

Scores of DA supporters wore the party’s signature blue t-shirts. Marchers earlier sang struggle songs and songs praising Zille’s leadership as they walked down Queens Street towards the Constitutional Court.

They hoisted placards reading: “No to apartheid censorship” and “ANC, NP, VF and Nazi all the same”.

Other boards read: “Are we heading to gloom Zimbabwe?” and “Do every thing but do not forget to shut that puppy Malema’s mouth.”

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