Have we the 'old style' governance again? by UDM Secretary General (18 March 2010)

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is deeply disturbed by the ANC and its Youth League’s poor relationship with the South African press. These organisations’ paths are littered with attempts to bully the independent press and influence the state media.

We are shocked that an Eye Witness News reporter was allegedly grabbed by the President’s bodyguards and forced to delete pictures he had taken whilst President Zuma was at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital.

Julius Malema seemingly wanted to blackmail journalists with what has been coined as “brown envelope journalism”. And now, ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu is threatening to reveal personal details of the activities of journalists. If they are to be believed it begs the question, where did they get the information they purport to have. “It’s not us”, said the state intelligence agency. Is there another Big Brother out there that monitors our free society, or are they lying?

At the same time we continue to be concerned about the independence and objectivity of the SABC.  It’s a fallacy that we have ‘public broadcaster’ - the SABC is more of a mouthpiece and propaganda instrument of the government and the ruling party.

We are reminded of the apartheid National Party domination of the media in the previous era. We have seen this before… security police roughing-up members of the public, double-standards, abuse of the SABC by government and interference with the free media.