'use press freedom'

FLASHBACK: On 19 October 1977 the World editor Percy Qoboza, second left, is escorted by security police into detention. He was imprisoned for five months under the Internal Security Act. 01/01/2000. ©  Sowetan.
FLASHBACK: On 19 October 1977 the World editor Percy Qoboza, second left, is escorted by security police into detention. He was imprisoned for five months under the Internal Security Act. 01/01/2000. © Sowetan.

PRESS FREEDOM should be protected otherwise it will be lost, the Black Consciousness Party said in commemoration of Black Wednesday yesterday.

PRESS FREEDOM should be protected otherwise it will be lost, the Black Consciousness Party said in commemoration of Black Wednesday yesterday.

On October19 1977 the then minister of police Jimmy Kruger Sowetan predecessors SowetanWorld and Weekend World. They also banned Beyers Naudé's newspaper Pro Veritate.

The banning of these three mouthpieces, along with no fewer than 19 Black Consciousness organisations led to the day becoming known as Black Wednesday.

"The principle with any freedom is that if you don't protect it you lose it," said Gomolemo Mokae, a Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) stalwart.

He was speaking at a Black Wednesday commemoration in Atteridgeville.

"We need to ensure that oppressions of the past don't repeat themselves. If we don't protect press freedom we'll lose it."

BCP's publicity secretary Kedibone Molema said that young journalists should do their job with honesty and objectivity.

"Our media is the watchdog of our society. It should remain that way to protect our hard-earned democracy," Molema said.

Sanef council member Raymond Louw warned against government's tendency to encroach on media freedom.

"Since 1994 there has been signs of encroachment," he said.

"We have seen the media refused access to courts and the government release of the application by Eskom to Parliament to raise electricity tariffs.

"These are indicators of thinking in government along the lines of restricting information."

X