Protests planned for 'Black Tuesday'

2011-11-22 07:25

Johannesburg - Various human rights groups and media houses will be protesting the controversial protection of state information bill (POIB) when it appears before the National Assembly for a vote on Tuesday.

National Press Club (NPC) chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said the day "will mark the start of a dark day for freedom of speech, freedom of expression and media freedom.

"We have received thousands of messages of support from across SA and it's time that we get a loud and clear message to government that we will not sit back and watch our Constitutional rights being infringed," he said.

"Some political parties, scores of NGOs [non-governmental organisations], the Right2Know campaign and Sanef [SA National Editors Forum] have come out in support of 'Black Tuesday'."

Wearing black

The NPC asked people opposed to the bill to wear black clothes, a black ribbon or a black armband.

It named the campaign "Black Tuesday", based on what became known as "Black Wednesday" - October 19 1977, when the apartheid government banned The World, the Sunday World and a Christian publication Pro Veritas, as well almost 20 people and organisations associated with the black consciousness movement.

The ANC'S parliamentary caucus has dismissed the "Black Tuesday" protest as a "distortion of facts".

"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," ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said on Monday.

Abramjee said the NPC had taken note of the ANC's concerns.

"They're feeling the heat and they are trying to side step the issues by attacking the press club," he said.

"They are also trying to defend the cannot defend the indefensible."

The NPC has called on government to suspend the scheduled vote.

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

Claims 'sensationalist'

On Monday the State Security Agency (SSA) said claims that the bill would lead to censorship and information blackouts were sensationalist.

"It is not correct that there will be mass classification of information as the application of the bill is narrowed drastically to national security departments," SSA spokesperson Brian Dube said.

"To argue that life under the protection of state information bill will be characterised by censorship and information blackouts is sensationalising of the highest order."

The Right2Know Campaign was organising six pickets around the country, including one at Parliament, to protest against the bill.

On Monday the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (LGEP) said it would urge all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex (LGBTI) organisations to join the Right2Know Campaign.

"It will be unfortunate that the media is silenced because it is through the media that large volume of information is disseminated and citizens get to know what is happening around them," LGEP director Virginia Setshedi said.

"This government's move will definitely impact on each and every citizen of the country regardless of what sector or community one belongs to."


On Monday Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said the bill was flawed and insulting.

"It is insulting to all South Africans to be asked to stomach legislation that could be used to outlaw whistle-blowing and investigative journalism... and that makes the state answerable only to the state," he said.

Tutu said he was appealing to MPs to acknowledge the backlash the bill had caused.

"Please hear the warnings of the academics, civil society leaders, labour representatives, media corps, and legal and Constitutional experts," he said.

"This law will do our people and our country a disservice."

- Are you protesting? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos

  • pjanprinsloo - 2011-11-22 07:30

      ZuluWarrior - 2011-11-22 07:37 Stand up and Fight against this evil.

      Perfume5 - 2011-11-22 07:52

      I joined the Facebook page.

      Ann - 2011-11-22 07:54

      Viva Black Tuesday! Proudly supporting this very important cause and wearing black today!

      Vicker - 2011-11-22 08:05

      And what is the Gumment going to do when it sees how many people support Black Tuesday? Shake in their boots and retract the Bill??? Nooooo people - it is all nice and good to show solidarity against this tyranny, BUT this Gumment only understands ONE LANGUAGE >>> IT IS TIME FOR ACTION AGAINST THIS OPPRESSOR !!!

  • Missionman - 2011-11-22 07:34

    All must stand against this bill. For once let the entire country stand together and show goverment that we will not stand for the abuse of our rights. My thanks to those organising the protests etc.....

      Jack - 2011-11-22 09:19

      We need to stand together, Boycott our Taxes, Simply do not Pay Taxes!!!! Hit them where it hurts, their fat cars, big houses, and Italian clothes. These people are a scourge that needs to be eradicated from South Africa, don’t let this country disintegrate into another failed Black African state.

  • Sharmay - 2011-11-22 07:35

    I have my black on today. Do you?

      Jacques - 2011-11-22 07:44

      i have indeed dressed for the occasion

      Sganja - 2011-11-22 07:49

      I'm wearing a white suit,a symbolity of a bright day..

      Sharmay - 2011-11-22 07:56

      Sganja, you annoy me. Go and join the rest of the lice voting this bill in.

      Sganja - 2011-11-22 08:02

      Sharmay chill bro we are not fighting is just down

      Bob - 2011-11-22 08:03

      Sganja, you are such a troll, you symbolise everything bad that happens, when will you wake up and smell the roses.

      Sganja - 2011-11-22 08:10

      Bob as a loyal member of Anc I have to agree with conference resolutions even if I have different views.This move was taken by Polokwane conference so I have to support it...

      Julian - 2011-11-22 08:17

      @Sganja: "I have to agree with conference resolutions even if I disagree" BS!! If the ANC decides to do something unconstitutional, then you have every right to oppose it, no matter how strongly it was supported.

      Sharmay - 2011-11-22 08:20

      What view? Do you support the ANC muzzling the media Sganja? Don't you care how the ANC treats this country and it's people? Pathetic excuse, you don't HAVE to support the views. Its because of blind supporters like you that the ANC can still stay in power after proving that they are incompetant. You will never learn.

      Marion - 2011-11-22 08:54

      There was a call that those opposing the protest should wear white today. Not blue, green, yellow, red. That tells me they are trying to make it a black on white issue which it is not. By the way Sganja it may be one of the few bright days you have left in SA. Enjoy it while it lasts.

      Alan - 2011-11-22 08:59

      I am wearing my black, in mourning for the day when SA lost it's remaining legitimacy, as the ANC votes to make the ability to act as criminals a new law. Cry for the beloved country!

      Alan - 2011-11-22 09:00

      @Sjanga - clearly the bright suit is a lot brighter than you!

      Randomhero6661 - 2011-11-22 09:05

      Ah you white suit wearing w@nka! Go jump off a bridge! Trolling Hard!!!

      Marion - 2011-11-22 09:08

      @Sganja... I also lived through Apartheid where I was treated like a mushroom and fed manure by the government of the day. I refuse to allow that to happen in SA ever again and this is just the first step in that direction. Ask yourself, would the arms deal have fallen in the category of 'classified information'. Would you be happy if things like that are suppressed because of this bill? If you even have one iota of doubt drop those white clothes and hop into your mourning clothes. Because once the press is muzzled we have the dark days of Apartheid all over again when the state decides what we may and may not know about.

      Alan - 2011-11-22 09:09

      @Sganja - no point in trying to convince someone of your obvious intellect. Sit back and enjoy the ride when the bill is passed, and think back of the good old days in SA when you had rights, and a mind of you own. This bill will make the ANC the world's most illegitimate 'democratic' govt. But take heaert people .. Illegitimate Govt. around the world are toppling like dominoes, and our muppets are going to be no exception.

      Sganja - 2011-11-22 09:15

      Thanks Marion I'm now going black at least you are patient unlike Alan he's so impatient

      Alan - 2011-11-22 09:18

      boo hoo Sganja

      Sganja - 2011-11-22 09:30

      I have called speaker of parliament to put this proposed bill on hold,untill further it won't be voted in today...

      Marion - 2011-11-22 09:31

      @Sganja - 'I have a right 2 know' - like that avatar. I'm wearing black today.

      johnkk - 2011-11-22 09:42

      With you in Blackon this one.

      jody.beggs - 2011-11-22 09:55

      @Sganja stop being a sheep! Think for yourself or are you benefiting from corruption ?

      David - 2011-11-29 16:35

      Hahaha Sganja... Symbolity. You, sir, have just demonstrated your ignorance.

  • christo.stone - 2011-11-22 07:35

    Wearing black today. This will be a huge blow to SA's democracy if the bill gets passed...

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-11-22 07:37

    I am dressed in black and I'm ready to do anything to protect my right to free information.

  • Larry - 2011-11-22 07:37

    A bunch of incompetent crooks, trying to hide their activities in an incompetent way. We have to fight this, or we will definitely end up like Zimbabwe, a rogue state.

  • Herman - 2011-11-22 07:42

    Who gave this criminal anc regime the apartheid handbook?? Or is this the only way they have ever known, Africa rules over Africans with disgrace, corruption and murder? This is the start of the end of SA as it has been for every African nation. Now we must stand together against this growing evil called the anc! Wear black!

  • Reshan - 2011-11-22 07:42

    Dressed appropriately to morn the death of our democracy...

  • Marius - 2011-11-22 07:44

    Down with this government,Zuma the clown and his cronies.

  • Perfume5 - 2011-11-22 07:45

    I am wearing black today - standing shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the South Africans and fighting against this.

      Perfume5 - 2011-11-22 08:02

      I have changed my profile photo on Facebook as well.

      christo.stone - 2011-11-22 08:53

      So have I.

      Dave - 2011-11-22 09:25

      Come FB users, lets all change our profile pics to this, in deep protest at our freedom being lost. I should say to the ANC government, shame on you, but you have no shame do you?

      jody.beggs - 2011-11-22 10:06

      Got my full support aswell ! Damn the man , save the Empire !

  • Thato Superior Sekwati - 2011-11-22 07:47

    Guess the depriving of the infomation to the nation in wich the NP will vote in accordence to protect thier jobs and image...

      Rob - 2011-11-22 07:54

      Please explain, I don't understand your comment

  • Jerhone - 2011-11-22 07:50

    lets see if the so called "liberals and honest" men in the ANC can stand up and vote against this evil or are they all corrupt and deserve to be called maaifodies

      Deon - 2011-11-22 07:54

      They don't have a choice in this matter, hopefully the C Court can stop this bill.

      Dave - 2011-11-22 09:44

      @Deon, we all have choices, the ANC members have a choice, live by their conscience or not

  • ronzaled - 2011-11-22 07:52

    Sh*t; i'm getting my black on today; this is bull crap. Hw the hell are they going to stand there and call S.A a democratic country whilst the only people enjoying it is the people in government. How many tactics are this people willing to use to make our life a living hell, e-Tolls, information Bills, million types of taxes that i still don't understand about 98% of them

  • Herman - 2011-11-22 07:54

    we will start burning anc flags today and mark this day as NATIONAL ANC FLAG BURNING DAY!!!

  • rogertjenkins - 2011-11-22 07:58

    Vote them out. It is the only way.

  • TrueSouthAfrican - 2011-11-22 07:58

    Stop hating us just because we are white. And the same goes to the whites out there. We are all South Africans, and when we look down our noses at someone just because they are a different color, we are playing into the hands of all those greedy politicians who are using weak reasons to keep us from being a united country. It is time that we all opened our eyes and admitted that for years we have all b een used for the benefit of a few.

  • Brent - 2011-11-22 08:01

    This is simply an act of vengeance on the governments part if any information gets out. They cant stop facebook and twitter or any other social media. What they want to do is stop the public debate. TIME FOR UNDERGROUND NEWSPAPERS TO START UP

  • Mabel - 2011-11-22 08:01

    If this goes through today it will be the death of freedom of the press as we know it in South Africa and a major flaw in our constitution.

  • Vince.York - 2011-11-22 08:02

    All 264 ANC MP's ordered to the National Assembly under threat to ensure this is approved before it is overturned by the Con Court. Lowest ebb EVER of SA racist and oppressive politics :- ANC MPs ordered to National Assembly| News24 Mac Maharaj already pursuing the 15 years secrecy act to avoid the wrath of the "people" who have been done down - the very citizens of SA. The judiciary has been insidiously transformed into a limp wrist amiable pet dog along with a coerced prosecutorial arm and an aligned militarised police force. This MUST be rushed through into law to ensure that the envisaged inquiries recently announced after a decade of hiding detail and allowing persons to die or evade serving jail sentences and prserve the "innoncence" of certain squatters and imposters currently in positions of TRUST AND AUTHORITY but who are merely ensuring poverty and oppression for the majority in perpetuity. SHEER MADNESS has gripped the ruling regime.

  • Charles - 2011-11-22 08:03

    Any government must be as transparent as can be without undermining the security of the state. They (the government) are put there by the people and are in fact servants of the citizens they represent. The problem in South Africa is that both the ANC and the old National Party governments have put themselves above the people they serve. I sometimes despair that we'll ever have good governance in South Africa. The old (apartheid) government was bad, but the new government is even worse. Down with POIB!!!

  • Elle-Black - 2011-11-22 08:05

    We cannot have this bill lets do anything possible to get rid of it and the ANC while we at it

  • didintle.kwatiii - 2011-11-22 08:07

    I WILL Be Wearing My Black Gear Today

  • Perfume5 - 2011-11-22 08:09

    I am tweeting, changed my profile photo and background on Twitter. Technology is to our advantage.

  • nicholasapsmith - 2011-11-22 08:10

    hopefully all the strippers are wearing black to day aswell...all niight loong (not that i can sing)

  • Marna - 2011-11-22 08:11

    It has my support !

  • Ubabamkhulu - 2011-11-22 08:13

    I wish to ?????????????????????? but the government ?????????? Now we ??????????.

      Ubabamkhulu - 2011-11-22 08:16

      I see my blog has already been censored by this new bill. Damm!!!!!

      Alan - 2011-11-22 09:13


  • Perfume5 - 2011-11-22 08:18

    Transparency and truth - the ANC's secrets is not my security!!!!

  • David - 2011-11-22 08:19

    I am wearing black SOUTH AFRICA IS DEAD if this gets passed we will have joined the rest of Africa as a non-democratic country like the others the anc only think of themselves and have no concern for any other people we must really look at getting rid of this disgusting regime

  • guy.goes1 - 2011-11-22 08:24

    Kill free information and you kill a free democracy , The anc is rapidly becoming yet another of the many hopeless liberation movements without any focus , ideas or skills to take their countries foreward

  • Perfume - 2011-11-22 08:24

    To those that are giving comments a thumbs down, we will not be moved. Are you in agreement for this Bill to be passed. I am a tax-payer in this country, democracy is about being transparent. STOP THE SECRECY BILL!!!!!!!

  • Wendy - 2011-11-22 08:30

    I am wearing black today. Mourn the passing of the promised freedom of our country. In 17 short years the ANC has rubbished its struggle.

  • gys.smit - 2011-11-22 08:31

    Can we start wiki leaks SA , so we all South Africans can post info without being jailed ??

      kevin.vanblerk - 2011-11-22 09:14

      Not if this bill gets passed!

  • colleen.figg - 2011-11-22 08:32

    My two cents worth:

  • Lufuno - 2011-11-22 08:33

    The media is fighting for freedom to hack your cellphones

      New - 2011-11-22 08:43

      I have nothing to hide, they are welcome to do so.

      Peter - 2011-11-22 08:50

      @ Lufuno, rich coming from the ANC who have RICA. Worse, they don't even bother with court orders to use it....

  • Arno - 2011-11-22 08:40

    For those who can not attend the protest at least spread the word on Facebook by changing your profile to black.

  • Marion - 2011-11-22 08:50

    I'm wearing black. This is a Black Tuesday in SA. I'm wearing black. My husband's wearing black. VIVA FREE MEDIA IN SA VIVA

      Sganja - 2011-11-22 09:04

      Viva lol,guess you make me laugh

      Ubabamkhulu - 2011-11-22 10:10

      @sganja My wit boertjie, ek hor djy is hom die witman! Vat so djou katvis!

  • Lerato - 2011-11-22 08:56

    i think the ANC should go ahead and pass the bill - this will surely sink them, What is the correct saying "Shooting yourself in the foot"???

  • Alan - 2011-11-22 08:56

    Indeed a BLACK DAY, when the ability to act unpunished as criminals gets written into law.

  • Marion - 2011-11-22 08:59

    Here's a suggestion. As it is media freedom that is at stake here, instead of News24's regular posters on these news items making our usual comments, why don't we just post 'I am wearing black today' or something similar?

  • gwen.ferreira - 2011-11-22 09:01

    I can't help drawing the conclusion that this is deja-vu. Mugabe also silenced the press!!!

  • Abel - 2011-11-22 09:13

    But Sometimes media can make you or break you they report wrong info for revenues look at it both side of story

      Felix - 2011-11-22 09:51

      Then you can sue them for libel, and report them to ombudsman. You are missing the point here...

  • tuckytatham - 2011-11-22 09:18

    This bill gives me the feeling that the ANC are trying to hide the blatent facts of their corruption and the like. By oppressing the media and not allowing them to blow the whistle they are making it more obvious that they are involved in deals far below the surface from top brass to the dregs that leech off the power supply. Dark day for this nation.

      Vuyo - 2011-11-22 09:36

      If the bill is passed today, we will not see the information regarding the Arms Deal that Zuma recently announced will be re-opened for investigation. That is why he is ramming this through parliament.

  • fezisa.mdibi - 2011-11-22 09:29

    "how do we sleep when the beds are burning"

  • sanita.u.singh - 2011-11-22 09:37

    People warned that our beautiful country is heading is the same direction as Zimbabwe and many shrugged off the rumour saying SA will never end up like Zimbabwe…Well passing this bill will be the first step towards a diminishing country. Our government is not only taking away our freedom of speech but a big part of our freedom. Nelson Mandela would have never let this happen ‘cause his fight for freedom was mainly through speech!!!!

  • - 2011-11-22 09:41

    Apartheid in Reverse....that's what this is. So much for transparency. So much for freedom of speech.... it is only for a select few. If you have nothing to hide, why proceed as if your lives depend on it. From the looks of things it seems as if their only access to wealth is through politics. I am not prepared to let this country go to the dumps in the way Zimbabwe has. Stand up for your rights South Africa. They are using our hard earned taxes to fund all and sundry.Politicians are literally getting away with murder. A warning and a slap on the wrist...that's their definition of punishment.

  • rory.short1 - 2011-11-22 09:48

    I could not agree with Desmond Tutu more. 'This law will do our country a disservice' but unfortunately it seems that certain members of the ANC are not really interested in that. They are much more interested in hiding self-service from the public because self-service is what they are really interested in but that becomes more difficult the more the public knows about it.

  • sihlemarcus - 2011-11-22 10:05

    Analysis fo the #BlackTuesday movement and why it realistically can't acheive anything

  • thabang.tsoku - 2011-11-22 10:06

    wat difference will it make

  • marelie.vdm - 2011-11-22 10:29

    I don't understand? How can you take away the freedom of the press now? Are we going back to the OLD South Africa?

  • Transkie Sun - 2011-11-22 10:37

    Communist, Shameful, sickness, uneducated, lying, selfish, blasphemy, no god, poor, disease, greedy, gluttony, anger, lawless, racist, SOUTH AFRICA may god save your sole