The South African Federation of Trade Unions strongly denounces the fascist thugs who are harassing and trying to intimidate editors and journalists.
The intimidatory pickets outside an editor’s home by members of the so-called “Black First – Land First” group, part of the faction of corrupt crony capitalists, is an attack not just on individuals but on all media outlets and on every South African’s constitutional right to freedom of expression and to share information and opinions.
This tactic is part of a systematic drive by the corrupt faction to hollow out all institutions that support democracy. Irrespective of the views of the editors and journalists they are targeting, we cannot tolerate attempts to deny any of them the right to publish those views by means of threats and intimidation.
Having already captured the NPA, Hawks, the Public Protector and state-owned enterprises, and with the ANC, SACP and COSATU reduced to impotent shadows of their former selves, the corrupt looters are now trying to intimidate, capture and silence the media and the courts.
The faction’s leader, Jacob Zuma, made it clear in his opening address to the ANC Policy Conference that he is thoroughly frustrated by the judiciary which has tried to block corrupt activities such as the over-spending on Nkandla. The ANC’s so-called diagnosis also contained similar frustrations with the judiciary which were for years called counter revolutionary.
SAFTU reiterates that while it will continue to fight against the domination of the media by big business who use it to defend the interests of their class and the country’s wealthy elite, neither can we support a campaign by a rival faction of corrupt crony capitalists whose sole aim is to silence their critics and stifle attempts to uncover their systematic looting of state resources.
The federation will continue to fight for a truly independent media which reflects all the people of South Africa, especially the workers and the poor whose voice is still largely unheard in the commercial media. But it will also fight against any moves to censor any of the media, especially those who stand up and oppose corruption and plundering.