Media law expert, Dario Milo, says government should be transparent regarding the cost of the upgrading of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home in KwaZulu/Natal. This after Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi refused to divulge information saying the homestead was a national key point.
The upgrading is reported to cost taxpayers over R200-million. Milo has been speaking at the commemoration of Media Freedom Day at Wits in Johannesburg. Milo also says the media still faces disturbing threats from various sources.
"First the use by the executive of apartheid-era legislation to draw a veil of secrecy on matters of public interest. Secondly, the use of criminal laws to chill freedom of expression, perhaps best exemplified in the draft legislation officially called the Protection of State Information Bill, but surely better known by its alias, the Secrecy Bill," says Milo.
Black Wednesday or Media Freedom Day is being commemorated today. Several media organisations were banned on 19 October 1977. This was a huge setback for freedom of expression in the then apartheid South Africa. The then government banned various newspapers, including The World, the Weekend World and a Christian Institute publication, Pro Veritate.
The ban was also extended to major black consciousness and other organisations. Over 40 people were detained and at least seven people were banned.