Thursday, September 22, 2011

Was Troy Davis The real Muderer?

It is not good for a country like America and South Africa to keep the Death penalty since decision and rulings can be flawed, investigation findings can be distort and possibly innocent like Troy may fall victims. A day before the killing of this man, I voiced for stoppage through amnesty international, to join the millions of life supporters worldwide but had little impact on the decision to execute the presumed shouter. It is Sad, but irreversible! It is up as from now to our fellow citizens of the world from America, Europe, Africa and Asia and anywhere in the world to stand against this American tendency of killing in the name justice. LET ALL STAND, THE VICTORY IS CERTAIN!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Academic Freedom
Talking to a group of students over issues concerning academic welfare and intellectual development at KwaZulu Natal University (UKZN) at Howard College, one of the four Institutions of the University. Most of the students expressed their resentment on the limitations of the educational policy at the Institute. Students from various departments particularly, those from the Social Sciences claimed that the policies impacted on the methodology they adopted in their research work, for instance, students from the Politics Department claimed that the course is so structured with content so modified and streamlined with no room for autonomous research work, and as such their analysis is so limited to those materials prescribed. Students claim that they could not diverge into external sources apart from those prescribed even when there were better contextualized sources, on the same subject.
Currently the University ranks sixth among the continent's best Universities in Africa (Courtesy 2010 World University Ranking at The students were claiming that on basis of Statistical rating on the number of graduates leaving the University into the Tertiary sectors, clearly the University surpasses since all its policies are so streamlined just to attain that goal and objective, pre-structured material, tutors on the other hand do not have a diversity of knowledge apart from what they have acquired through the same streamlined policy, hence the capacity for future development or a movement away from such a trend is so limited. The Qualitative aspect of such an academic policy is generally so poor with such graduates so limited in scope in their particular fields, diversity is prevalent only in a few who recognized the need for varied learning apart from University policy.
Interviewing a student in the Engineering department he claimed he was finding it difficult and frustrating to express his academic thought and freedom. This he explained is caused by the expectation that lectures have on him to utilizes standard formulas and techniques. We Engineers are supposed to be the inventors, the pioneers and the innovators but the case is streamlined here. I quoted a student saying" There are many ways or methods that one can use to calculate the Geo-tech of soil but we not allowed to use them, this make us less creative. I think our lectures are not interested in our originality, certainly this not how engineering should be”. The student also said “I would like to study my masters because postgraduates student have more freedom to research and work on whatever they desire" Sadly that might not be the case even in postgraduate studying at University of KwaZulu Natal .
Academic freedom of expression in African universities
Freedom of Intellectual expression in African Universities is being affected by University Officials and Professors in the Faculties. In the interview a student referred to the current situation in South African universities where freedom of academic expression is being judged basing on race or political affiliation. E.g. of UNISA (Vice-Chancellor) who was threatened to be removed from his position because he was suspected to have adhered in the Congress of the People's Political Party. Interviewees continued to stress on the fact that in dictatorship regimes, mostly dominant in Africa, Universities are strategic points for political ends. A foreign student added the 1992 riots at the University of Lubumbashi where students and lecturers were killed by Mobutu's regime for criticizing oppression and bad condition of livelihood of academics. Most of the interviewees also stressed on the impact of policies proposed by most African state governments concerning Media and information dissemination in which they tend to control what is to be streamlined to the public and what is not.
With most of the students referring to the recent South Africa’s Media Tribunals Bill and its negative impacts on media content, a point of interest erupted when the issue was addressed by the UKZN SRC President. The Student Representative Council's (SRC) President was in support of the bill, with a view that intervention is required in the media as less important and non-beneficial issues are increasingly becoming media focus neglecting issues that involve the political, economical and social issues that are currently affecting the country which he viewed as important to democratic structuring. He also stated that the media should not expose the private lives of these ANC officials and claim to be exercising their freedom of speech right while at the end violating the politicians' right to privacy. He also stated that these private issues are being utilized as strategies in terms of boosting the sales of their news articles, he then concluded by advocating that there should be a delimitation as to what the media publishes especially the local media portals, newspapers, television etc.

Friday, October 22, 2010

All the odds of media tribunal in South Africa

The opposition of the current media tribunal proposal in south Africa,is taking a different shape and tension is growing among political parties on the one hand, people getting more and more confused on the other hand. This is what digital journal to offer this morning.

Public debate in South Africa is raging around the ruling party’s desire to institute a so-called “media tribunal” as well as regulating what can be reported on and what constitutes a state secret. Government and its ally, the South African Communist Party (SACP), argue the law under consideration is necessary to limit the alleged damage to innocent parties caused by media houses and their newspapers which they claim do not represent the public interest, but only a narrow, predominantly “white” interest. What’s more, the existing Press Ombudsman is made up of journalists, the government says, therefore it cannot be objective in evaluating whether the rights of individuals have been violated or not.

The government youth organisation, the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), according to Times Live, strongly supports the formation of the tribunal to protect it from:

Spiteful agendas to undermine the integrity of our organisations and leadership. The other Media institutions and organisations such as SANEF and Press Council of South Africa are equally useless in media monitoring and evaluation. This therefore calls for an immediate establishment of a Media Tribunal to save our organisations and leadership from repeated attempts to assassinate their characters and sow divisions. The Media Tribunal should then begin with investigating Newspapers such as the City Press, Mail & Guardian, The Citizen, Sunday Times, The Times, most Afrikaans Newspapers (Die Burger & Rapport) and all Independent Group Newspapers to expose their ill-intentions and programme to sow divisions in the ANC and undermine its integrity. Some of the owners and directors of these Newspapers are active funders and leaders of opposition parties and this explains why the ANC and all its structures are under constant attack."

The SACP made it clear why it supported the tribunal at its 89th birthday celebration reported by Politics Web. Referring to arrests of Communists for publishing in the past, the SACP release said:

Communists didn't make these sacrifices so that a handful of capitalist press barons could decide what “news” is and what isn't. Communist journalists didn't sacrifice their lives so that a foreign media company under an Irishman could dominate the so-called Independent Newspaper Group which, in turn, dominates the English-language print media in our country.

The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has compared the proposed legislation and tribunal to methods of the Apartheid era, the Mail and Guardian reports. DA Leader Helen Zille said:

"We will use every means at our disposal to defend our country and our democracy from the ANC's assault. We will take the fight all the way to the Constitutional Court if necessary. We will never surrender our right to know."

Zille added:

"If passed, the Protection of Information Bill will criminalise investigative journalism," Zille said of the draft Act described by the Freedom of Expression Institute as a bid to cover up wrongdoing and silence criticism of the government."Just like under apartheid, the government will invoke the national interest to cover up every abuse of power."

Members of the South African media were expected to comment further on the issue. The legislation must first pass parliament, which is seen as a rubber stamp, but now faces possible legal action even before becoming law.

Read more:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The impact of social networks

I'm in the state of believing that the whole globalization thing have both negative impacts and positives ones. However, the reality is that there is possibly on side which overpowers the other.The new fast communication set ups such as social network like facebook,twitter and others, is the power of distruction of privacy of users. Thinks to my decision, that I will never regret, of taking internet studies course, I have dicouvered more then I need. After watching how the google works, I regreted having a account with them. On the other hand, the globalisation tells me that I did the right thing, because now I'm connected to world using free or cheaper means. On facebook I often chat with friends from far away even those I will never meet face to face, it sounds stranger.
I have decided,however, to reduce my personal information I post on any social network, use internet causiously as much as I can and especially avoiding stranger conversations with unknown people with one hope, to not sell myself for free services.I will live with the fact that internet helps me to search and found information I need and facebook helped me finding old friends as positive side of it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fear Vs Terror

I enjoyed watching in move of Murrow challenging Senator McCarthy's vices against American citizens accused of conspiring against capitalism or allied to communism.The terror the the senator created was irreversible to the extend everyone was worried as a simple comment could turn against you and you live too."We have it all in our hands..."(Nelson Mandela)come into my mind when look at the face of the man who stood against oppression.Though,the word itself could mean building the broken world like the one we living in.On top of physical power,the corrupted systems need working brain and fearless spirit to stand against it.Many fail because of the political systems in place such as dictatorship which ruined African past and continue to have demolish impact on the present generation.From former Zaire of Mobutu to Zimbabwe of Mr. Mugabe, to Rwanda and far the boarders the Mexico breaking the records actual of journalists killed in Americas.We can't afford no more the fear in us but have to stand the terror against freedom in its full meaning.
Brave are those who sacrifice their lives for other to survive, I personally salute your dedication to free the world from ignorance and protect the rights to information of citizens.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Democratic institution or Dictatorship regime

This is of the comparison that attracted my attention very much.My concern is that,most African nations with dictatorship regime tendency,oppress the media fort their gains.If the so believed democratic regime such as South Africa can join the music of the Zimbabwe,Somali, Rwanda and othors, I have no doubt say that the democracy is just mask to the eyes of the mass.

South Africa: Censorship Likened to Zimbabwe's

By: Bekezela Phakathi

10 August 2010

Johannesburg — AS CALLS for the withdrawal of the controversial Protection of Information Bill mount, parallels between the bill and Zimbabwe's draconian media laws are being drawn.

In 2002, the Zimbabwean government passed the Access to Information and Privacy Act, effectively gagging the independent media. It contained two notorious sections limiting the content of what might be published, namely section 64, entitled "Abuse of freedom of expression", and section 80, entitled "Abuse of journalistic privilege".

The act also provided for up to two years in prison for the publication of "falsehoods".

As the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's challenge to the ruling Zanu (PF) grew more serious, many analysts saw the act as the government's attempt to crush the opposition and maintain control by presenting its own version of reality as the "truth". The media environment in Zimbabwe was polarised and scores of journalists were forced to flee the country, fearing torture and even death.


Local and foreign media are criticizing South Africa's ruling African National Congress.

The Protection of Information Bill being discussed in Parliament will, if passed into law, restrict public access to government information. It will do so by classifying information and, as in Zimbabwe, allow for draconian punishments for those who tamper with "classified" information.

Any government information can be classified if its disclosure would be harmful to the "national interest", defined in broad terms that cover any government department. The national interest includes "all matters relating to the advancement of the public good" and also covers "the protection and preservation of all things owned or maintained for the public by the state". Parastatals such as Eskom could be removed from public scrutiny.

The Freedom of Expression Institute said the vast scope of the term "national interest" was "shocking". "Any action taken by the state could conceivably be justified as being in the national interest and hence classifiable," it said. Director Ayesha Kajee said it was not too soon to start drawing parallels between SA's intended law and Zimbabwe's act.

"The harsh penalties for publishing so-called classified information are worrying." The bill would spell the "death" of investigative journalism by intimidating journalists, just as Zimbabwe's act did, Ms Kajee said.
Relevant Links

* Southern Africa
* South Africa
* Media
* Zimbabwe
* Legal Affairs

A Zimbabwean media analyst in SA said parallels between the bill and Zimbabwe's act were clear. "Just as Zanu (PF) did, this is a very clear attempt to control the media. It's unacceptable and it spoils the beauty of democracy."

"This bill has been initiated by those in power who cannot take criticism from the media."

Savious Kwinika, a former Zimbabwean journalist who fled the country and now works in SA, said that, considering the links between Zanu (PF) and the African National Congress (ANC), "one cannot rule out that the ANC could have borrowed the idea (of the bill) from Zimbabwe".

Mr Kwinika said the bill was not healthy for democracy and SA should learn from the wrongs in Zimbabwe. "Journalists in Zimbabwe were tortured and some people were killed because of draconian laws. This bill in SA is cruel and could potentially scare away investors ... look at what happened in Zimbabwe," he said.

Read comments. Write your own.