Tuesday, November 23, 2010
South Africa’s ruling party intends to pass a draconian media law to bar journalists from reporting on governmental corruption
The ANC has dismissed opposition to the bill as racist, accusing opponents of attempting to advance a “white agenda.” Auguring particularly ill for the future is the fact that ANC’s Youth League is one of the most illiberal bodies in the party. Aside from being among the most enthusiastic supporters of the move to end press freedom, the Youth League is also one of the primary forces driving foreign investors away from the country. Its leader Julius Malema’s signature policy is his demand to nationalize the country’s mines. According to the UN, South Africa has the second highest per capita murder rate in the world. South African sources place the annual murder rate at 23,000. South Africa is the rape capital of the world. In a 1998-2000 UN survey, one in three women said they had been raped in the past year. One in four men admitted that he was a rapist. Carjackings are commonplace. Even more devastating is South Africa’s AIDS epidemic. Nearly 20% of South Africans are infected with the HIV virus. Unprotected by the government, refugees are victimized by xenophobic violence. Countrywide xenophobic riots in 2008 in which some 62 people were reported killed and thousands injured have been followed by sporadic, often murderous violence against foreign refugees. Rather than protect the refugees, the ANC just announced a new visa policy that will likely see the deportation of millions of them.