Sunday, 8 November 2009

South Africa: Free speech concerns as government critic arrested

Note by Marc Aupiais

"The blogger-sphere was buzzing this week with claims that the South African police were clamping down on people critical of the government and crime. "
(Sunday Independent (Secular; Independent; South African) 08 / 11 | November / 2009)

The arrest of one critical blogger, on a warrant from 1993 (during apartheid) is the reason. His computers- were to be allowed to be taken by police via a seizure order, according to the Sunday Independent. That the charge allegedly was of fraud, but that the computer and organized crime unit, according to the Sunday Independent: conducted the arrest, is odd.

When I heard this from a right wing site on twitter, I hardly believed, I didn't in fact- but the Sunday Independent, is maybe South Africa's top paper.

The author of controversial zasucks was arrested by police on a charge from over a decade ago, and gun possession. He was then, allegedly (which the Sunday Independent; and our own service cannot verify) released, no charges being made for the fraud charge.

I do not read zasucks, and have nothing to do with the Afrikaans right-wing in South Africa, but claims that a blogger was arrested prior the 2010 world cup are worrying. China clamped down on free press prior the olympics.

South African Catholic- will continue to report honestly on South African politics, as, being Catholic, we are neither left nor right, and as we do believe there is good and bad about South Africa, even if the allegations of quieting free speech are right, we should not be in any danger. As far as the law is concerned, yours truly, our editor- doesn't even have one speeding fine!

Despite our government's connections with the Chinese communist party, and the far left- one arrest of an ultra-critical critic, is certainly no time to be alarmed. It does not seem sure whether the other arrests occurred either, or if the arresting of bloggers, is due to any clear motivation.

South African Catholic, has always remained within the law, and we will not change our style or work, simply because of some purported arrests, and one confirmed one, where the right wing, as quoted by the Sunday Independent, claims that no charges were laid.

Sunday Independent (Secular; Independent; South African) 08 / 11 | November / 2009

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