“Some leaders tend to develop ideas about staying for ever when they should give chances to other leaders,” said Zuma yesterday. “There are younger leaders who should be given a chance.”
He made the remarks at the commemoration of Black Wednesday at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria. Black Wednesday, or Media Freedom Day, commemorates October 19, 1977, when the apartheid government banned three newspapers and jailed activists and journalists.
Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe, 91, has been in power for 35 years and his policies have resulted in a flood of refugees into South Africa. Zuma said a decision on the Protection of State Information Bill was imminent.
“The Bill is still under consideration and various inputs and legal opinions are being processed,” he said. “I had sent the Bill back to parliament for technical reasons and they returned it with the changes having been made.”
Zuma said objections which have been received were of a constitutional nature. “State Security Minister David Mahlobo also requested to work further on some aspects of the Bill,” said Zuma.
“At the appropriate time a determination will be made on the way forward.” This comes in the wake of reports that the ANC wants to deal with the negative way it is being portrayed in the media and will accelerate a parliamentary inquiry into establishing a Media Appeals Tribunal
Zuma committed the government to promoting media freedom and to protect the right and space for the media to report without fear or favour.
Zuma said: “We fought hard and relentlessly to have a South Africa where all enjoy these rights and freedoms. Therefore, our commitment to freedom of expression, a free media and all the freedoms enshrined in our constitution remains steadfast.” He said citizens need information to go about their daily lives.
“They need to know about government services and where and how to access them,” said Zuma.