Secrecy and centralised control were cornerstones of the apartheid system and fiercely opposed by the democratic movement. An open, participative state respecting the potential contribution of each South African citizen was the aim. Yet, 14 years after liberation, old battles are being renewed. Political interference with information that belongs in the public domain and with the business of professionals is a matter for deep public concern. Nor are these isolated examples. The government is increasingly adopting an attitude of all knowing. Its actions are consequently appearing more and more arrogant.