Saturday, December 8, 2007


The following comments have been posted on Khadija Sharife's THOUGHT LEADER (M&G) blog

You have written in truth and well and you are right about the erosion of Western civilisation. I am a Western educated African and I am worried too.

While any oppressed group has angry individuals within as the duplicitous FXwhatever takes pains to claim here that only Hamas has, and even that Hamas only has, it always remains true that you cannot deal with opposition by only looking at the worst side. One has to find the best in people. You clearly do look for the best and offer it while this maladroit FXwhatever attempting to fasten his teeth onto you only looks for the worst in those he disagrees with. If his approach is valid we can all only kill or be killed.

Which of course is what the actions of the apartheid clone called Israel is doing.

By the way FXwhatever has also used the name Mangy Cur and his tactics are used by bloggers on the Al-Jazeera site with the clear intent to muddy the waters and destroy the possibility that blogging gives us of sharing insights.
Fxwhatever is not opposition. He is an operative, bitter, lonely and disliked anywhere, possibly even paid and trained in this propagandist tactic, a tactic which is designed to swamp and destroy your generous voice.
I suggest you ignore him. Read the post and comments below and see what I mean.
He cannot touch you. Remember that if you speak to fools you will be a fool.
Be aware that he sees you as a danger because you are too clever for him, too generous. He is a classic mediocrity and shows it in his pathological desire to destroy anyone beyond him. And you and almost all people are are beyond him and those very possibly with him in this thrust of his.

And let him speak Thought Leader! He is self-destructive enough to trash his agenda and destroy the name of those he supports. Those who go with him deserve what they get.
MidaFo on December 6th, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Both Jeenah and Midafo have attacked me personally and both should carefully consider whether they are breaching THOUGHT LEADER’S guidelines.
For my part, I have always used polite language and believe that important issues should be debated without recourse to personal attacks eg’s Jeenah comment that I usually “write worse than a 12-year-old.”

In the circumstances, I want to make it quite clear that I am not anti-Islam.
BLACKLISTED DICTATOR /FIX THE FXI on December 7th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Is MidaFo your pseudonym ? Some people have emiled me suggesting that it might be.
Please set the record straight.
BLACKLISTED DICTATOR /FIX THE FXI on December 7th, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Dear Jane Duncan,

The following comment has appeared on Khadija Sharife's THOUGHT LEADER blog in response to a comment that I posted about Hamas.

I think that you would agree that the attached is a convoluted attempt to limit freedom of expression. It has been written by somebody using "MidaFo" as a pseudonym. Do you, by any chance, recognize the writer's style ?

Does The Freedom of Expression Institute approve of the sentiments expressed by "MidaFo"? Perhaps you could kindly pass this email onto Na'eem Jeenah for further comment?

You should also bear in mind that previous comments written by "MidaFo" have been edited by THOUGHT LEADER owing to their venomous comment; they broke the Mail and Guardian's guidelines with regard to personal attacks.

viva etc
blacklisted etc

The Good and the Ugly

This is very long but it is not rocket science.

Some people blog to beat, and others blog to win.

The first never learn from the activity because they deny the losers any validity and never honour those who win against them. The result of engaging with any one of this group of beaters is that you are sucked into an embrace that leads to an infinite regression of mutual self destruction. Sometimes extremist and always de contextualised views from your side are assiduously hunted out, often with the help of clerks in army uniform (you are facing propaganda remember), and thrown into your face in an attempt to force you in your obvious good will and honesty to run around in circles checking your sources and it usually ends up that all you can do is hunt out the inevitably plentiful extremist views from the beater’s side (Al-Jazeera can help) and throw them at him in a sort of intellectual mud-pie contest. Then you are lost because his side has the position and guns to throw explosives as well as propaganda, economic hardship, social devastation and starvation at you and your side.

We do not have to imagine this: we can see it in the history of events in “Israel” and read it in the Republican propaganda in the USA with its resultant use of explosives and death in Iraq and Afghanistan. The man of multiple names wants this to happen to you and from my small but intimate experience of agents in South Africa there is self-hate in his stance so he will do it to the point of death because nothing can shame him. Witness G.W. Bush and the “Israeli” people, which should show you that this is a criminal mind set that cannot admit defeat because there is nowhere else to go for them: for them it is beat or damnation.

The second kind, those who blog to win, can and do learn because the losers are congratulated for competing.

On the word count the comparative elegance should be clear.

The present regimes in “Israel” and the USA cannot see the difference between beating and winning and the damage they cause is plain to see. Likewise the Nationalist Party did enormous damage in South Africa because it couldn’t see.

The ANC dramatically restructured the politics of winning after the unspeakably dreary years of White/Nat rule. With all the ANC’s current problems this remains true and it is interesting to see how many in white SA cannot see this. The latter’s plentiful utterances and those of the man with many names speak more about them than they do about anything else.

This latter, which is by far the biggest problem in SA, is indicated by a number of unrestructured racists and Nats on this blog, which is unfortunately in turn indicative of the structure of the middle class.


Beating reduces competing to the level of warfare. This is well expressed in what is known as Game Theory which has as one of its fundamental tenets that in order to compete you must believe absolutely in the implacable desire of your opponent to destroy you. This is all very well in Chess or cricket or rugby and so on, because they have rules of the game, a referee, and an ambulance nearby and other than the fact that in accordance with the self-hatred mentioned above it still destroys the sport over time, it can be tolerated in that sport is a limited field of play, you don’t often die and the culprits are usually rooted out before that time. It is when the ethos is applied outside sport as in politics or business, economics or religion that it becomes clear it makes these activities become alternative ways of fighting a full scale war, for the simple reason that the board or field is everywhere unlimited. This means that the term Game Theory as use by the “Israelis” and the Americans is in fact a propagandist term to hide the systematic ill will of naked warfare being applied in peace time. In short, in our present reality, Game Theory is a propagandist’s term for War Theory. The effect has been to make gangsters out of presidents.

Names are not necessary.

Although it may be possible to right the seriously unbalanced people who live in this way it is also true that their destructive power is often underestimated. Again just look into SA’n history, or again the Nazi’s, or again the “Israelis”, or again the Americans under their recent crop of leaders. Of course this list is vastly incomplete but this little observation should make it clear that there is indeed a problem in the West as some bloggers here and elsewhere have already observed.

We need to be able to recognise these war mongers who suck those who are blinded by stupidity and pride into their maelstrom.

They are sectarian and accordingly completely dedicated to defining and finding fault with the Other, they are Right, they are lacking in generosity, fearful (with all the connotations of heroic noise to disguise this) hence either cosying up to those who are extraordinarily over-endowed with penile substitutes such as arms and ammunitions, or are themselves so endowed, and they display their mediocrity by being avidly on the attack against those who are more generous in conception or too weak to prevent easy theft.

There are many problems associated with this list in the paragraph above, not the least being that it is incomplete and will be out of date as soon as it is read because war mongers are duplicitous. Again look at the “Israelis” and the Americans.

I will deal with two problems.

Firstly this list is incomplete and hence not definitive:
It is however indicative of the mentality of the war monger and the evidence is that the people who read and contribute to this blog are capable of extending it in this meaning themselves.

Secondly, the warmonger has no integrity and will immediately proclaim the opposite of what can be shown to define him as a warmonger or else accuse others of the behaviour (remember when the Nats controlled the news?):
Well good luck with this one but somehow I believe people can tell a liar and, as with the supporters of the Nats, that it is the liars that support the liars. This is indeed so indefinite as to be unworkable when applied to others, but it is not so when we apply it to ourselves. So when we blog and read blogs we must be honest and watch for the sectarian, Right, lack of generosity etc in ourselves.

And to do this is simple.

Again I now have two suggestions as to how.
One is that we must seek to enjoy and agree with those who come from another intellectual space.
Then let us recognise that to be a fool one merely has to speak to fools and so we must stay away from the avid attacker, the presumptuous superiorist of the right, even if he happens to be affectionately on our side at any time, unless of course you believe he can be jolted into his senses. If you try to jolt and are not successful then ignore him totally and immediately otherwise you are effectively accepting an abusive lover.

Remember that the warmonger, in his mediocrity, never stops because he simply has to destroy those beyond him, and as they say, you cannot do business with a crook, but you better not love an abuser or a wife beater.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan,

Your colleague at The Freedom of Expression Institute states on his THOUGHT LEADER profile that he is an "academic".

For the record, which university is he affiliated to ? Is he a lecturer ?

viva etc
blacklisted etc

Date: 05 December 2007 12:08:16 PM

Dear Madam,

What is The Mail and Guardian's definition of an "academic"? On Na'eem Jeenah's THOUGHT LEADER profile, he states that he is an "academic". Does that mean he is a lecturer at a university ?

If he does not hold such a position, don't you think that he should amend his profile?


Na’eem Jeenah ( Director of The Freedom of Expression Institute),

The Mail and Guardian on-line editor has asked you to consider inserting the fact that you are the spokesperson for The Palestine Solidarity Committee on your THOUGHT LEADER profile.

Sorry to sound like a 12 yrs old but why have you not done so ?

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 12:37 PM
To: Riaan Wolmarans
Cc: Jane Duncan; na'eem jeenah; Ferial Haffajee Personal

Dear Riaan ,

Did Na'eem reply to your email ? ( his profile still hasn't been
amended to include that he is spokesperson for the Palestine Solidarity
Committee. )

It is evident that Na'eem is using his FXI credentials to further his
PSC work. To my mind, this is a blatant abuse of the THOUGHT LEADER
platform that M&G has given him.

Riaan Wolmarans
Editor: Mail & Guardian Online
Tel: +27 11 250 7353

He did receive my email, he said.

However, though you may have a point about his interests, his bio remains his business. We don't prescribe to TL contributors what to write on their blogs, and we are not prescribing what they should put in their bios either.

All we can do is request someone to consider changing their bio, which is what we have done.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


As Director of The Freedom of Expression Institute, Na'eem Jeenah always dodges difficult issues on his THOUGHT LEADER blog. He is skilled at propaganda but proper analysis seems to leave him floundering. Perhaps he is not quite so "academic" as he boasts (take a look at his M&G profile) ?

Naeem, I reiterate my questions :

What do you think about the way that Ahmadinejad’s regime persecutes women in Iran who are demanding basic rights ? Should they be imprisoned and lashed? Do you approve of Ahmadinejad’s clothing regulations for women?

Or do you give “Ahmadinejad>Hizbollah>Hamas” a green light because they pray/plot for Israel’s destruction ?

If you do, one would have to conclude that your Islamic political agenda is at odds with your freedom of expression portfolio.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Date: 03 December 2007 1:14:46 PM

I refer to Na'eem Jeenah's THOUGHT LEADER profile. It states...
"Na'eem Jeenah is the director of operations at the Freedom of Expression Institute. He is also a social activist, an academic and a commentator on a range of issues."

However, it does not mention that Jeenah is spokesperson for The Palestine Solidarity Committee. I think that such information is highly relevant as Jeenah is using his blog for PSC propaganda purposes. As a result, the editor of THOUGHT LEADER should immediately amend Jeenah's profile.

Dear Anthony

We do not write contributors' bios for their blogs -- that is their own

I will ask him whether he would like to include what you have suggested.

Riaan Wolmarans
Editor: Mail & Guardian Online
Tel: +27 11 250 7353


Na'eem Jeenah, Director of The Freedom of Expression Institute, has a blog on THOUGHT LEADER. So far, inter alia, he has remained silent with regard to the following:

5 Responses to “Lash those name-givers!”

Your Olmert (omelette) pun is ingenious. As spokesperson for The Palestine Solidarity Committee and Director of The FXI, would you have time to do some stand-up comedy? I think that you have a natural talent. Perhaps you could do a few gigs in Gaza?

BLACKLISTED DICTATOR on December 2nd, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Your blog fails to identify the reasons for the extreme fundamentalist concoction within modern Isalm.
I would really like to know why some Muslims have gone down this dark alley. Please let us know your views on this matter.

FIX THE FXI on December 2nd, 2007 at 3:24 pm


Mo Bear should be viewed in a wider context as it seems that people are bing persecuted in the Islamic world for many different reasons…

What do you think about the way that women are being arrested (+ sentenced to lashings) in Iran for demanding some basic rights ?

Do you support Ahmadinejad’s regulations re female clothing ?

FIX THE FXI on December 2nd, 2007 at 6:23 pm


And what do you think about the sentence handed to the woman in Saudi Arabia ( 200 lashes and imprisonment) for “getting herself” raped ?

Can you understand that this barbarity leads to Islamophobia ?

Before criticizing America, plus Israel and The West, it is about time that Islamic commentators like yourself started to put your own house in order!

BLACKLISTED DICTATOR on December 2nd, 2007 at 6:52 pm

Na’eem- I’m going to have to use this for some of my comedy material:)

But I agree with ‘Fix the Fxi’- you should answer and speak on behalf of all the millions of Muslims in the world and defend or explain their actions!![not..]

Bilal on December 2nd, 2007 at 10:35 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Seems to me that Na’eem’s loyalties are split.

As Director of The Freedom of Expression Institute he is supposed to believe in freedom of expression.

But as an Islamic / PSC activist, he is ambivalent about the doctrinaire / reactionary strands which characterize the ideologies of regimes that he admires ( eg Ahmadinejad’s Iran and Hamas). Moreover, with regard to the antisemitic Hamas charter, Na’eem remains silent.

I have tried to discuss such matters in numerous emails to The FXI but they remain unanswered. Clearly The FXI is in a bit of a fix.. it needs to be fixed!

FIX THE FXI on December 3rd, 2007 at 9:58 am

Blacklisted Dictator, I’m confused about this statement;

“Can you understand that this barbarity leads to Islamophobia ?”

Are you saying that there are some valid reasons for Islamophobia? I’m fascinated.

Ndumiso Ngcobo on December 3rd, 2007 at 1:09 pm

Ndumiso, of course there are valid reasons for Islamophobia, you fool! Just as there are valid reasons for racism (Black people are stupid) and valid reasons for anti-semitism (Jews want to take over the world) and valid reasons for sexism (women become silly and emotional when they menstruate) and just as women sometimes ask to be raped (like when they dress improperly). With logic like this we can justify apartheid, mysogyny and the oppression of virtually any group anywhere in the world at any time.

Na'eem Jeenah on December 3rd, 2007 at 2:39 pm


I agree that…
(1) Black people aren’t stupid
(2) Jews don”t want to take over the world etc

However, your conclusion is illogical because, it is beyond doubt, that Islamic “justice” (eg in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iran) is currently extereme/ barbarous. As a result, it can lead to Islamophobia.

Why dont you answer the other questions that I have raised ? Is it because you are reluctant to engage in a frank discussion ?

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan,

I hope that you are getting time to read Na'eem Jeenah's "THOUGHT LEADER" Mail and Guardian blog. It is very funny and shows that The Freedom of Expression Institute isn't just high-minded and serious... Na'eem is quite a laugh ! He seems to have a natural talent for humour which might be getting over-looked in his day to day "hum-drum" work at the FXI.

I have, as a result, suggested that Na'eem does some stand-up comedy gigs in Gaza. If he can't get a booking there, he could try Khartoum?

I know that you are "The Brains" at The FXI so please you could elucidate (assuming that Na'eem can't) some of the reasons for the extreme fundamentalist concoction within modern Islam? Perhaps you could post a comment on "Lash those name-givers!" ?
viva etc
blacklisted etc

Na'eem Jeenah writes:
Lash those name-givers!

A few years ago, at a conference in the Middle East, I met a man called Mustapha (which is another name for the Prophet Muhammad). Interesting guy, Mustapha. Passionate about social justice issues, outspoken against Islamophobia, strident critic of Israeli occupation, a strong believer in equal rights.

But … someone needs to take Mustapha’s parents out into the street and lash them! You see, Mustapha’s family is Christian. And Mustapha himself is a Marxist and an atheist.

Following on the recent Sudanese decision about Gillian Gibbons, I have decided to start a campaign to evaluate the conduct of all Muhammads, Ahmads and Mustaphas (and any others who also have a name that was attached to the Prophet Muhammad). If any of them falls short in his general conduct (as well as those who happen to have decided to become atheists), his parents (or whichever relative gave him his name) should be taken into the street and flogged publicly.

This, really, is the ridiculousness of that Sudanese ruling.

Oh, and talking of that decision, what about the parents of the little boy whose name is Muhammad and who suggested naming the teddy bear “Muhammad”? Surely they deserve more than just a lashing for naming a son such as him with such a noble name! Lash them too!

By the way, we should organise a little vigilante force to find the parents of the president of Sudan (if they are still alive) and have them also lashed. How dare they give that insolent boy the name (Hassan) of the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad?! Actually, without giving it too much thought, I think the one Muslim I can quickly think of whose parents shouldn’t be lashed is the Pakistani general-ex-general-president. Now those were parents with foresight, naming their son Perverse (sorry Pervez).

If we consider the name-lashing thing to go beyond the Muslim community (as I suggested it should with Mustapha’s parents), then another set of parents I would regard as safe from the threat of lashing would be the mother and father of the Israeli prime minister. Omelette (sorry Olmert) is a really inspired name. Oops, scratch that. That won’t work; we are dealing only with first names here.
2 Responses to “Lash those name-givers!”

Your Olmert (omelette) pun is ingenious. As spokesperson for The Palestine Solidarity Committee and Director of The FXI, would you have time to do some stand-up comedy? I think that you have a natural talent. Perhaps you could do a few gigs in Gaza?
BLACKLISTED DICTATOR on December 2nd, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Your blog fails to identify the reasons for the extreme fundamentalist concoction within modern Isalm.
I would really like to know why some Muslims have gone down this dark alley. Please let us know your views on this matter.
FIX THE FXI on December 2nd, 2007 at 3:24 pm

Mo Bear should be viewed in a wider context as it seems that people are bing persecuted in the Islamic world for many different reasons…

What do you think about the way that women are being arrested (+ sentenced to lashings) in Iran for demanding some basic rights ?

Do you support Ahmadinejad’s regulations re female clothing ?

Friday, November 30, 2007


The following are questions for Na'eem Jeenah, Spokesperson for The Palestine Solidarity Committee and Director of The Freedom of Expression Institute (they have also been raised on Na'eem Jeenah's THOUGHT LEADER blog)

1:Do you support Hamas ?
2:What do you think about its antisemitic charter ?
3: What do you think about the bloodshed perpetrated by Hamas at the recent Arafat demo in Gaza. Do you condone it ?

p.s: Hamas on Thursday called on the UN to rescind the 1947 decision to partition Palestine into two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs.
The group said in a statement, released on the 60th anniversary of the UN vote, that "Palestine is Arab Islamic land, from the river to the sea, including Jerusalem... there is no room in it for the Jews."

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Dear Na'eem Jeenah ,
Delighted to see that you have a blog on The M&G's "Thought Leader". It really shows that The Freedom of Expression Institute is not just a front for The Palestine Solidarity Committee but is, when you come to think of it, nothing less than a true guardian of freedom of expression in South Africa.

viva etc
blacklisted etc

p.s I attach some of my comments and doubt that you will have enough freedom of expression/ guts to reply.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.
On cacti and keys; memory and forgetfulness

What I really admire about you is the way that you so brilliantly combine your roles as spokesperson for The Palestine Solidarity Committee and Director of The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI). Many people in your positions would end up sullying the reputation of The FXI. However, you have only served to enhance it.
How do you manage to retain such credibilty ?
Is it because you were breast-fed The Truth ?
Independent Newspapers censors, withdraws and censors again
You write:
” PS: Like all my other posts on Thought Leader, this one does not purport to represent the views of the Freedom of Expression Institute and the FXI does not necessarily agree with any of what I have said here.”

Your post deals with freedom of expression issues. Do you hold different views when you walk into The FXI’s office ?

Why on earth wouldn’t The FXI agree? You are the Director of The FXI !
Surely you can agree with yourself ? If you can’t agree with yourself, you should perhaps seek help?
FIX THE FXI on November 29th, 2007 at 6:57 pm


What do you think about the recent Hamas attack on the Arafat demo in Gaza? It led to many deaths and much bloodshed.

You write:
“To insist that one cannot hear the voice of the oppressed unless one also hears the voice of the oppressor is, at best, cowardly acquiescence and, at worst, collaboration with oppression.”

Were the demonstrators murdered?
Are you a “coward” who “at worst is collaborating with Hamas oppression”?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan,

I know that The Freedom of Expression Institute is having a spot of bother with Ronno Einstein in the constitutional court. However, this shouldn't poison your relationship. This sort of thing happens every now and then. I am not suggesting that you "kiss and make-up" but you should put any squabbles over secret documents to one side. After all, the "Zionist / US jewish lobby" is still alive and kicking and it is essential that you and Mr Einstein continue to act, hand in glove, to counteract its malevolence.

In the circumstances, The FXI's board, should (assuming that Na'eem Jeenah moves to The MRN) consider Mr Einstein as a potential candidate for the position of Anti-Zionist Director of The FXI (assuming that Ronno, for some strange reason, fails to gain an appointment in Jacob Zuma's new government.)

viva etc
blacklisted etc

Assuming that Ronnie Kasrils is not invited by Jacob Zuma to be part of the new government, which of the following positions is he best qualified for :

(a) Hamas Minister of Intelligence ?
(b) Ahmadinejad's Foreign Secretary ?
(c) Director of The Freedom of Expression Institute ?
(d) Spokesperson for The MRN ?
(e) Executive Director of Durban II (world anti-racism etc) ?
(f) Special envoy to The UN Human Right's Council ?
(g) Chairman of the SAHRC ?
(h) Features editor for The Mail and Guardian ?

Thursday, November 22, 2007


The Freedom of Expression Institute writes with regard to their case against South Africa's Minister of intelligence:
"All over the world, the work of intelligence agencies is shrouded in mystery."

Is The FXI also suggesting that Ronno Einstein's recent state visit to Iran is "shrouded in mystery."?

Why did Ronno Einstein ( Minister of Intelligence) go to Iran ?

Should South Africa be closely connected to Ahmadinejad's repressive regime ? It is after all, a regime that denies women equality and imprisons those who complain.

The FXI should also try to uncover the answers to these questions. To my mind they are "shrouded in mystery"!!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan,

Perhaps "The Freedom of Expression Institute/ Media Review Network" should now put in a bid for The Sunday Times ? Why not have a word with George Soros... he might back you ?

(Soros funds The FXI so you could have a quiet word in his ear ?)

The Sunday Times suggestion that South Africa is a "skunk" really is the last straw...
November 18, 2007

South Africa's Depraved Foreign Policy Exposed

The Sunday Times, one of South Africa’s leading weekend newspapers, today ran a front page story exposing the South African government for a foreign policy that runs counter to South Africa’s human rights ethos. Many of the most abhorrent examples of South Africa’s voting record at the United Nations, which we have consistently exposed over the last few years, have now thankfully found there way into the mainstream South African media.

Sunday Times: SA now skunk of the world

South Africa’s human rights reputation is in tatters after a series of “sell-out” votes at the UN on issues ranging from rape and gay rights to tyranny.
This week the watchdog UNWatch ranked South Africa last, alongside China, Russia, Pakistan, Algeria and Saudi Arabia, on a human rights list.

Human rights organisations have branded Pretoria “the chief human rights villain”.

SA is accused of shielding Sudan, Zimbabwe, Belarus, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Myanmar.

A major source for the article was UN Watch, a human rights organisation based in Geneva, who we also regularly rely on for our information. Their reports, documenting the voting pattern of UN Human Rights Council member countries, show South Africa to have consistently taken anti-Human Rights positions. In fact we rank as one of the worst, along with China, Russia, Pakistan, Algeria and Saudi Arabia.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch described South Africa (and India) as “the biggest disappointments among free democracies”. Thomas Wheeler, of the SA Institute of International Affairs, echoed these sentiments complaining that South Africa had “lost the moral high ground.”

The South African government’s response has been posted on the Sunday Time’s website (although it was not published in the newspaper). Rather than dealing with the substance of the accusations, they have chosen to attack the messengers by casting aspersions about UNWatch’s agenda. The government’s response claims that

‘UNWatch is one organization that is actively campaigning to undermine a key South African initiative at the global level, the World Conference Against Racism.

While the world is grappling with and trying to find solutions to the problems of racial hatred and intolerance UN Watch posts articles on its website describing the conference as a “global festival of hatred”.

It is therefore important that while quoting these organizations the Sunday Times should also inform its readers about the extent of their agenda.’

It’s not surprising that the government has chosen to respond to such a serious issue in this manner. Sadly these type of paranoid accusations against any criticism have become commonplace in the twilight of the Mbeki presidency. UN Watch’s objections to the World Conference Against Racism have nothing to do with South Africa. They are guided by a concern for fighting the international institutionalization of anti-Semitism.

I was a delegate to that conference in Durban and I would say ‘global festival of hatred’ is a pretty appropriate title. Does the South African government think it is appropriate for Nazi like cartoons depicting Jews as bloodthirsty animals are acceptable murals for a conference against racism. Or pamphlets bewailing that Hitler lost the war, because there would then have been no Israel. Does selling the protocols of the Elders of Zion (available for R20 , an official publication of the government of Iran) set the right tone for solving the problem of racial hatred I wonder? Here are some of the posters that littered the conference (courtesy where you can find more of these monstrous posters).

If this is the case, then it has become clear that the South Africa international agenda is diametrically opposed to that of world Jewry and in fact the entire free world.

Steve adds

Something from our democracy of hypocrisy’s response that also deserves mention is the credit that South Africa claims for the replacement of the now defunct UN Human Rights Commission with the new UN Human Rights Council.

South Africa claims to have supported the creation of a new Human Rights Council because it lost it credibility due to problems of double standards, selectivity and politicization. Further to this South Africa explains that by double standards, they mean that the previous Human Rights body only concerned itself with human rights problems “in some and not in other countries.”

Ok, we can all agree with that. But has the problem of selectivity and double standards been remedied? The smuggness of the South African response suggests that it has.

Perhaps they take us for fools. The new Human Rights Council has only ever passed resolutions against one single country – Israel. No other country, not Sudan, Cuba, China, Myanmar nor Zimbabwe has been condemned by the Council. The problems that afflicted the old guard have been replicated in the new – South Africa should look to other places for credit because there is none to be found in the wretched UN Human Rights Council.

South Africa also respond with the tired and old ‘divisions of labour between the organs of the United Nations.’ This doesn’t fly. If South Africa’s voting could honestly be explained by these technical reasons then their diplomatic relations with the despotic nations would not match their voting records.

Case in point – look at the lavish welcome that the Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir recently received from President Mbeki. No highfalutin explanations of the types of human rights that we protect, or technical meanderings about matching the appropriate UN forum to the right abuse can explain these facts on the ground.

Previously at IAS

A warm SA welcome for the President of Sudan
SA/AU aid and abet Sudanese regime
South African solidarity visit with Belarus
South Africa votes against resolution calling for an end to human rights abuses in Burma
South Africa betrays gay people at the UN
South Africa protects Mugabe at the UN
South Africa expresses support for Iran's nuclear drive
The South Africa/Iran nuclear nexus
South Africa fails to back UN resolution on Holocaust denial

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan and Na'eem Jeenah,


I refer to The Freedom of Expression Institute's letter/ petition to Condoleeza Rice re Prof Adam Habib.

It states : " I do not tolerate the censorship of ideas in any country and believe that freedom of expression and academic freedom must be jealously guarded."

As you are both well aware, The FXI has failed to live up to such ideals,

On numerous occasions FIX THE FXI has drawn your attention to censorship in Iran and this has only been met by silence on your behalf. You have even failed to support women rights activists in Iran who have been sentenced to imprisonment and flogging. Clearly, The FXI, in practice, tolerates censorship in Iran.

As a result, it is evident that The FXI has extremely ambivalent attitudes about freedom of expression. Unfortunately, FIX THE FXI has to conclude that the sentiment reflected in the petition is based on a narrow anti-US agenda.

This "ideological exclusion" on behalf of The FXI re censorship In Iran is, therefore, a clear reflection of The FXI's partisan politics !

viva etc
blacklisted etc.


Dear Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
United States of America

On your watch, the State Department has helped to resurrect the discredited practice of ideological exclusion, the practice of denying visas to non-citizens whose politics the government disfavors.

This policy has led to a number of unjust exclusions, including most recently, that of South African academic and human rights activist Professor Adam Habib.

Censoring ideas at the borders is toxic for academic freedom and freedom of speech. We believe that it certainly is a violation of US First Amendment rights. If you believe that the United States should remain a vibrant place for the exchange of ideas where political discourse is not just welcome, but encouraged I call on you to end the policy of ideological exclusion immediately and grant Adam Habib a visa today.

I do not tolerate the censorship of ideas in any country and believe that freedom of expression and academic freedom must be jealously guarded.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

FIX THE FXI is calling upon Na'eem Jeenah (director of the Freedom of Expression Institute) to demand the immediate release of Delaram Ali in Iran.

Na'eem Jeenah is particularly interested in "Islamic Feminism' and has produced a MA political science thesis on the subject so he should, of course, be demanding the release of a 24 yrs old Iranian woman who is fighting for women's rights.

Delaram Ali has been sentenced in Iran to a 2yrs 6mths prison sentence and a flogging for campaigning for women's rights.

In the circumstances Na'eem Jeenah and Jane Duncan of The Freedom of Expression Institute should immediately ask deputy foreign minister Aziz Pahad to contact the Iranian ambassador with regard the imprisonment and flogging of Delaram Ali.

Na'eem Jeenah is also interested in Islamic jurisprudence and he should immediately consider whether a "flogging" is an appropriate punishment.

If both Jane Duncan and Na'eem Jeenah remain silent, it will be further evidence that the organization that they represent should be renmamed The Freedom of Censorship Institute.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan and Na'eem Jeenah,

The Media Review Network has still not written a word, or included a news item, about the Arafat demo massacre in Gaza.

It is clear evidence that The MRN's commitment to Hamas has, when a "problematic" story arises ( i.e Hamas massacring Fatah at a peaceful rally in Gaza), actually left The MRN speechless.

The MRN, and asssociated No 1 fan, Ronno Einstein ( Minister of Intelligence), have found that the realities of the political dynamics in the region, is too much to comprehend. The MRN / Ronno "brain", together with sites like The Electronic Intifada, can't handle it. Silence prevails on the latter website as well.

I conclude that a blind faith in Hamas leaves no room for a proper debate/ discourse.

I wonder, however, if The Mail and Guardian or The Weekender will now ask Iqbal Jassat (MRN) to write an article about the Gaza massacre ?? Further evidence that propaganda, rather than proper analysis, prevails in The South African press.

In the light of the above, The Freedom of Expression Institute and the South African press, should start to re-evaluate their own relationships with The MRN. Uncritical subservience, on behalf of The FXI and The South African press, does little to foster freedom of expression in this country.

viva etc



Is The Freedom of Expression Institute really part of Mbeki's masquerade?

Is The FXI "weeping crocodile tears and pretending to be as holy as The Bible"?

Does The FXI have the guts to stand up to literary intimidation from The President ?

Are there any poets at The Freedom of Expression Institute, who could rise to President Mbeki's challenge and compose their own version of Shelley's "Mask of Anarchy"?

Mbeki writes in the latest ANC newsletter:

"Near enough two centuries ago, the English poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, composed the famous poem, "The Mask of Anarchy", to denounce the massacre of working people at Peterloo, England, in 1819.
In many instances, the answering of the questions we have listed has produced the ghastly masquerade of which Shelley wrote. This is a masquerade of canards paraded by people who disguise their purposes by wearing ermined gowns, by weeping crocodile tears, by pretending to be as holy as the Bible, and by giving themselves a cloak of majesty even to the point of clothing this in pretensions of divinity."

The literary President also writes:

"Media freedom in danger?
Or take another more recent example, this being an attempt to legitimise canards by claiming that press freedom is under threat. A newspaper receives and keeps stolen property, namely, private medical records. It then proceeds to publish articles it claims are based on these records.
In this regard we must bear in mind a number of facts. Theft is a crime.
Receipt of stolen goods is a crime. Unauthorised ownership of private medical records is a crime. Publication of such records without the consent of the person concerned is a crime.
For these reasons, the police institute an investigation to respond to the crimes of theft and receipt of stolen property. The newspaper in question then publishes entirely false reports that some among its staff are about to be arrested, that our government has instructed the law-enforcement agencies to find as much 'dirt' as they can about some of the journalists working for the newspaper, and that these agencies are now 'spying' on these journalists.
To justify criminal misconduct of all sorts and dissuade the law-enforcement agencies from doing their work mandated by the Constitution and the law, the newspaper cries out in a loud voice - the constitutionally guaranteed media freedom is under threat!
In this instance the freedom we have achieved is obviously interpreted as the freedom to do anything and everything the media chooses to do to advance its agenda, with no regard to our Constitution and our laws - including the right to peddle canards all in the interest of entrenching democracy in our country! And once again, this strange claim has its adherents among some in the international community, including and especially some in the British and US media."


At the end of the ANC newsletter, Mbeki writes:
"I do not know if we have the poets to compose their own version of Shelley's Mask of Anarchy, to unmask the ghastly masquerade of fraud, hypocrisy, anarchy and destruction, which seek to legitimise themselves by claiming to be the sentinels who are standing on guard to protect our freedom and democracy!"

Well Mr President, one poet has risen to the challenge. The following is The Blacklisted Dictator's version of Shelley's "Mask of Anarchy". written in Johannesburg, Nov 2007...188 years after the massacre at Peterloo..


I met Murder on the way -
He had a mask like Mugabe
Very smooth he looked, yet grim
Seven South African government ministers followed him.

Next came Fraud, and she drove on,
Like an ANC politician, a Porsche Cayenne
Manto's tears, for she wept well,
Turned to HIV as they fell.
And the little Aids orphans, who
Round her feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.

Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
And the Marxists of the night,
Like Mbeki, next, Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly African masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, MPs and spies.....

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - Mbeki's crew are few.'

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan,

Does The Freedom of Expression Institute know why the Media Review Network website has, so far, remained silent about the appalling Hamas attack on Arafat supporters in Gaza ? It is an important story and the MRN "omission" does have the smell of censorship... a whiff that I know you abhor.

It is obvious that there is a close link between The FXI and The MRN and I wondered whether you have discussed this "omission".

For the record, does The FXI hold regular meetings with The MRN ? If it doesn't, why does The MRN write on The FXI's behalf ?

viva etc
blacklisted etc

ps.The small terrorist group, Islamic Jihad, which has clashed occasionally with Hamas but shares its ideology, condemned Hamas for the violence.

"Despite all of the political's forbidden and taboo to open fire randomly on a mass popular demonstration," the group said Tuesday.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Perhaps Jane Duncan and Na'eem Jeenah of The Freedom of Expression Institute can kindly inform FIX THE FXI what they think about the following article written by Melanie Phillips:

The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Mohammed Abdul Bari, has repeated in an interview with the Daily Telegraph the thrust of remarks he made last year, also to the Telegraph, that Britain should be Islamised. The first time he said this, there wasn’t a peep of reaction. This time, there’s been a bit of a furore. Which is progress.

Much of the latest interview was the usual whingeing and fanatical stuff. Apparently there is an argument for stoning in Britain. And of course, it is not insignificant that Bari chairs the East London mosque, in whose bookshop the recent Policy Exchange report found dangerous incitement on sale but which Bari does not condemn and whose sale says he will do nothing to stop. The most wicked part of his remarks was his comparison of Britain with Nazi Germany (a comparison he has also made before):
Every society has to be really careful so the situation doesn't lead us to a time when people's minds can be poisoned as they were in the 1930s. If your community is perceived in a very negative manner, and poll after poll says that we are alienated, then Muslims begin to feel very vulnerable. We are seen as creating problems, not as bringing anything and that is not good for any society.
Of course, it is the Islamists who have the fascist agenda in wanting to destroy British values and make this country submit to Islam. Bari is thus exhibiting the classic Islamist trick of taking aberrant behaviour by certain Muslims and ascribing it to their victims — the trick that is pulled from Israel to Islamabad and from Dewsbury to Damascus. But Bari is here pulling another common Islamist trick that has not been commented upon. He is taking a ball that has been rolled to him by liberal opinion and running with it. For the air is currently thick, is it not, with denunciations of the government’s proposed extension to the 28 day detention limit for terrorist suspects on the grounds that it would spell the end of the liberty for which this country fought Hitler etc. What is not realised is that, far from such measures turning us into a fascist state, such liberals themselves are providing Islamists like Bari with the weapons with which to undermine our defences against being turned into a fascist state.

On Saturday morning, BBC Radio Four’s Today programme (0832) featured a discussion about these matters between the MCB’s Assistant Secretary-General, Inayat Bunglawala, and the former chairman of the Joint Intelligence committee, Sir Paul Lever. Asked about Bari’s comparison between Britain and Nazi Germany, Bunglawala immediately responded:
He didn’t say that.
When it was pointed out that he had in fact said precisely that, Bunglawala observed:
He made a fair point. Just as in the 1930s the Jewish community in Germany was collectively vilified, and we saw what happened, I think we need to be careful not to allow the terror threat to lead us to make generalisations about entire communities.
The Jewish community in Germany in the 1930s was not simply ‘collectively vilified’. It was singled out for genocide. The collective vilification was part of that process of mass murder and ethnic obliteration. The comparison made by Bunglawala between Nazi Germany and Britain’s attitude towards its Muslim community is obscene.

When it was further put to him that many listeners had rung in to say, a propos Bari’s remarks, that in the 1930s there had been no Jews — no ‘minority of Jewish groups’ — committing acts of terrorism and so the comparison was odious, Bunglawala replied:
No that’s true; and today we don’t see the entire Muslim community engaged in acts of terrorism.
But no-one has ever said this; what is always said is that a minority of British Muslims are thus engaged. No-one has ever ‘demonised’ all British Muslims, nor even the majority. Bunglawala went on:
What you had in the 1930s was that all sorts of popular fictions were being spread about the Jewish community: they were in control of money in Nazi Germany, they were responsible for all the ills that were occurring in Germany, they were made into folk devils. And I think the danger is that the word Muslim in the UK is becoming synonymous with bad news.
Can hypocrisy be any more brazen? This is the same Bunglawala who, as I reported here, wrote some years ago:
The Jews consider themselves to be God’s chosen people - although the blessed prophet Jesus called them the children of the Devil (John 8:44) - and so can do just whatever the hell they like.
He cited claims that the Zionist movement was
at the core of international banking and commerce
and observed:
Nonsense? You be the judge…The chairman of Carlton Communications is Michael Green of the Tribe of Judah. He has joined an elite club whose members include fellow Jews Michael Grade [then the chief executive of Channel 4 and later BBC chairman] and Alan Yentob[then BBC2 controller and friend of Salman Rushdie].The three are reported to be ‘close friends’ so that’s what they mean by a ‘free media.’
According to a report by the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, Islam in Britain, he also wrote that Hamas was an
authentically Islamic movement
a source of comfort for Muslims all over the world.
The report went on:
In the same article, Bunglawala supported the radical Wahabbi Muslim clerics in Saudi Arabia, Salman al-’Awadh and Safar al-Hawali (later linked to Osama bin Laden) and the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria. In other issues of Trends he attacked the Bin-’Ali regime in Tunisia while supporting the Islamist Egyptian cleric ‘Umar ‘Abd al-Rahman, spiritual leader of the Egyptian Islamic jihad terrorist group, who was arrested by the US authorities for alleged links to the first bombing of the Twin Towers. Bunglawala claimed ‘Umar was simply ‘calling on Muslims to fulfil their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere’. This looks like clear agreement with the violent Islamist call for jihad by terror anywhere and at any time.
And as the Telegraph also reported:
In January 1993, Mr Bunglawala wrote a letter to Private Eye, the satirical magazine, in which he called the blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman ‘courageous’ - just a month before he bombed the World Trade Center in New York. After Rahman’s arrest in July that year, Mr Bunglawala said that it was probably only because of his ‘calling on Muslims to fulfil their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere’. Five months before 9/11, Mr Bunglawala also circulated writings of Osama bin Laden, who he regarded as a ‘freedom fighter’, to hundreds of Muslims in Britain.
Meanwhile, as I reported here, Bunglawala told me on the Moral Maze last July that he was certainly committed to turning Britain into an Islamic state. By peaceful means, of course.
I’m sure we are all relieved to know that.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


FIX THE FXI calls upon that The Freedom of Expression Institute to sign the "Change For Equality" petition.


The Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP) is asking you to join its letter writing campaign in support of women activists who were sentenced to prison in April - for organising a women's protest in Tehran.

The women activists had organised a peaceful protest in Tehran in June 2006 to demand equal rights for women. Under the guise of "endangering national security", Fariba Davoudi Mohajer was sentenced on 18 April to four years in prison, three of which are suspended. Parvin Ardalan and Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani were sentenced to three years (two and a half years suspended). Sussan Tahmasebi received two years (one and a half years suspended). The women will be required to serve the suspended sentences if "found guilty of another crime" during the next five years.

Human Rights Watch reports that an additional woman was sentenced on 24 April - Shahla Entesari was given three years in prison. Earlier in the month, Azadeh Forghani, also a women's rights activist, received a suspended sentence of two years for "acting against national security by participating in an illegal gathering."

All of the women supported the recently launched "Change for Equality" campaign, an effort to collect one million signatures to protest Iran's discriminatory laws against women. The campaign seeks specific reforms, such as making women's testimony in court carry the same weight as men's, equality of inheritance rights between men and women and the elimination of polygamy.

To sign the "Change for Equality" petition and help reach the goal of one million signatures, see:
- English petition:
- Persian petition:

To protest the sentencing of the activists, write to the following people:
- Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader:
- Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Head of the Judiciary:
- M. Javad Zarif, Ambassador to the United Nations:

Visit these links:
- WLP:
- Human Rights Watch, "National security laws used to jail women's rights activists":
- Human Rights Watch photo essay featuring bios of detained women's rights activists:
- Human Rights News from Iran:

(8 May 2007)

Saturday, November 10, 2007


FIX THE FXI is calling upon Na'eem Jeenah (director of the Freedom of Expression Institute) to demand the immediate release of Delaram Ali in Iran.

Na'eem Jeenah is particularly interested in "Islamic Feminism' and has produced a MA political science thesis on the subject so he should, of course, be demanding the release of a 24 yrs old Iranian woman who is fighting for women's rights.

Delaram Ali has been sentenced in Iran to a 2yrs 6mths prison sentence and a flogging for campaigning for women's rights.

In the circumstances Na'eem Jeenah and Jane Duncan of The Freedom of Expression Institute should immediately ask deputy foreign minister Aziz Pahad to contact the Iranian ambassador with regard the imprisonment and flogging of Delaram Ali.

Na'eem Jeenah is also interested in Islamic jurisprudence and he should immediately consider whether a "flogging" is an appropriate punishment.

If both Jane Duncan and Na'eem Jeenah remain silent, it will be further evidence that the organization that they represent should be renmamed The Freedom of Censorship Institute.


FIX THE FXI alerts Jane Duncan of The Freedom of Expression Institute to the case of Delaram Ali.
FIX THE FXI hopes that The FXI, together with Prof Adam Habib, joins Amnesty International and other human rights groups in condemning the Iranian regime.
Of course, it is possible that Jane Duncan will remain silent as freedom of expression for Muslim women in Muslim countries is not usually on her anti-western agenda!

Iran 'must free' woman activist

Many Iranian women say their rights have been stamped on
Seven human rights groups including Amnesty International have urged Iran to set aside a prison sentence for women's rights activist Delaram Ali.
She has been ordered to begin her sentence of two-and-a-half years in prison and a flogging on Saturday.

Ms Ali, 24, joined a protest last year calling for greater legal rights for Iranian women.

Dozens of journalists and activists have been detained or jailed recently, accused of acting against the state.

Police broke up the demonstration Ms Ali was part of last year which called for greater rights for women in Iran's Islamic legal system.

Ms Ali says the security forces broke her left hand when they beat up the demonstrators.

Chilling warning

Delaram Ali has been free while awaiting the result of an appeal.

But she has now been told to give herself up by Saturday so the sentence can be implemented.

She says she has not been allowed to file a complaint against the police.

Instead an internal inquiry recently exonerated the police even though foreign journalists witnessed them beating the women who were singing feminist songs while sitting peacefully on the grass in a public square.

What is notable about Delaram Ali is that she is not a well-known leader of Iran's feminist movement who has repeatedly challenged the government.

The BBC's Frances Harrison says her punishment will be a chilling warning to anyone thinking of dabbling with politics.

It comes as the Iranian Writers Association has talked of the increasing suppression of the press - with writers, journalists, academics, labour and social activists being arrested and newspapers closed down one after another.

One of Iran's most outspoken human rights activists, Emadeddin Baghi, was arrested last month and there has been no news of him since.

He was a man who tirelessly campaigned for the rights of political prisoners - only to become one himself, our correspondent says.

Courts have also recently upheld jail sentences for the leaders of Iran's bus drivers' union and teachers' organisations after protests over low pay.

Friday, November 9, 2007


The Freedom of Expression Institute must be aware that Pretoria and Washington are heading for a major fall-out when The American Civil Liberties Union case on behalf of Prof Adam Habib reaches court.

Prof Habib is certainly not an ivory tower academic. It seems that he has been highly influential in moulding South African foreign policy and as a result the ACLU case has important diplomatic ramifications. The ACLU have, after all, named Condoleeza Rica as a defendant. This is not Mickey Mouse stuff.

South Africa has recently been jumping into bed with Iran and Hamas and it is unlikely that Ms Rice applauds such wayward proclivities.

FIX THE FXI believes that South Africa will ultimately pay an extremely heavy price for taking on the US govt by ACLU proxy.
Perhaps the South African anti-US lobby, of which The FXI is a vocal part, will find that taking pot-shots at Ms Rice might be fun, but comes at a high diplomatic price. A price that South Africa can ill-afford to pay ?

ACLU Sues Over Exclusion of South African Democracy Scholar from U.S. (9/25/2007)

Ideological Exclusion Violates First Amendment Rights, ACLU Says

BOSTON – The Departments of State and Homeland Security are illegally blocking South African scholar Adam Habib from entering the U.S. under circumstances that suggest it is because of his political views, according to a lawsuit filed today by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Massachusetts. Censorship at the border prevents U.S. citizens and residents from hearing speech that is protected by the First Amendment, the ACLU charges.

“Once again, the Bush administration is stifling debate by preventing U.S. audiences from engaging prominent scholars face-to-face,” said Melissa Goodman, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project. “When the government excludes scholars from the U.S. – particularly scholars who frequently traveled to this country without any problems in the past, but who happen to be vocal critics of U.S. policies – it sends the cowardly message that our government is afraid of opposing voices. This kind of political litmus test is both unconstitutional and un-American.”

The ACLU’s lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of organizations that have invited Professor Habib to speak in the U.S. in the near future, including the American Sociological Association (ASA), the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights (BCPR). The lawsuit, which names Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff as defendants, seeks the immediate processing of Professor Habib’s pending visa application and a declaration that his exclusion without explanation since October 2006 Habib violates the First Amendment rights of U.S. organizations, citizens, and residents.

Habib is a renowned scholar, sought after analyst, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Advancement at the University of Johannesburg. He is also a Muslim who has been a vocal critic of the war in Iraq and certain U.S. terrorism-related policies. Until the government suddenly revoked his visa last October without explanation, he never experienced any trouble entering the U.S.; in fact, Habib lived in New York for years while earning a Ph.D. in Political Science from the City University of New York.

The October 2006 revocation of Professor Habib’s visa prevented him from attending a series of meetings with representatives from institutions such as the National Institutes for Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Bank, Columbia University and the Gates Foundation. When he landed in New York in advance of these meetings, Habib was detained for 7 hours and interrogated about his associations and political views. Armed guards eventually escorted him to a plane and deported him back to South Africa. The State Department later revoked the visas of Professor Habib’s wife and two small children, again, without explanation.

“I find it profoundly disturbing that the U.S. government continues to deny me the opportunity to participate in the kind of robust academic and political debate that is central to the American democratic system,” said Habib. “Now more than ever, people from around the world recognize the consequences of American isolation within the global community. By letting in outsiders who represent ideological diversity, the U.S. can make good on its democratic ideals.”

Last May, Habib applied for a new visa that would allow him to travel to the U.S. to attend speaking engagements, including the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in August 2007. However, on the eve of his scheduled departure to New York, the State Department informed Habib that his visa application would not be processed in time for the meeting. As a result of the State Department’s unexplained visa denial, Habib was prevented from speaking to the ASA and its members. His visa application continues to languish.

Professor Habib’s exclusion is part of a larger pattern. Over the past few years, numerous foreign scholars, human rights activists, and writers – all vocal critics of U.S. policy – have been barred from the U.S. without explanation or on unspecified national security grounds.

“Immigration officials should not be in the business of blocking our borders to people with political views they dislike,” said Sarah Wunsch, staff attorney with the ACLU of Massachusetts. “Silencing critics and forbidding Americans the right to hear dissenting voices harms academic and political freedom in the United States.”

In 2006, the ACLU filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of U.S. academic groups and Professor Tariq Ramadan, a widely respected Swiss scholar of the Muslim world. When the government revoked his visa in 2004, Professor Ramadan was prevented from assuming a tenured teaching position at the University of Notre Dame. The Ramadan lawsuit challenges the legality of his exclusion and the constitutionality of the Patriot Act provision under which he was initially excluded. He remains excluded from the U.S. today.

Today, the ACLU launched a new interactive web feature that tells the stories of the artists, scholars and politicians the U.S. government has kept out of the country since the inception of ideological exclusion in 1952. It is available at:

A copy of today’s complaint is available at:

More information about ideological exclusion is available at:

Attorneys in the case are Goodman, Jameel Jaffer, Nasrina Bargzie, and Judy Rabinovitz of the ACLU, and Wunsch and John Reinstein of the ACLU of Massachusetts.


The Freedom of Expression Institute may find that South Africa pays a heavy price when encouraging a diplomatic fall-out with The United States...

I wonder whether the US will support South Africa in its goal to get a permanent seat on The United Nations security council.
Interesting to also consider whether Prof Adam Habib might have helped to influence South Africa's appalling voting record at The United Nations.

On Jan 26th 2007, Prof Habib wrote the following in The M&G:
"Our role in the Security Council, temporary though it may be, is not to mindlessly follow the dictates of great powers, but to engage them and provide an example of responsible international leadership."

"An example of responsible international leadership"??? Is that Prof Habib's euphemism for South Africa's dismal voting record at The UN ? ( Remember South Africa used its inaugural vote at the United Nations (UN) Security Council earlier in January to vote against a resolution demanding an end to human rights abuses in Myanmar.)

If Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad takes up Adam Habib's case with Condoleeza Rice, South Africa will probably only alienate the US even further and might well negate her dream of a permanent seat on The UN security council.

The US has given detailed consideration regarding Prof Habib's recent attempts to gain entry to the US. As a result, the refusal to admit him does seem to suggest that the US might be indicating that it is extremely unhappy about the direction of South African foreign policy. It is quite clear that Prof Habib's inability to enter the US is more than an administrative mistake. The following excerpts from the case being brought on his behalf makes it quite clear that Prof Habib's visa application was considered at the highest levels:


Oct 21st 2006
Upon arrival at JFK airport, neither Professor Habib’s wife nor any member of the HSRC delegation encountered a problem entering the country. Professor Habib, however, was detained for more than seven hours, questioned by U.S. Customs.
During his detention, Professor Habib was questioned about his political views and was asked whether he belonged to or had supported any terrorist organizations. 32. Eventually, border officials told Professor Habib that his visa had been revoked by the Department of State, specifically by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Visa Affairs Tony Edson, and that he could either withdraw his application for admission or be deported to South Africa. Professor Habib chose to withdraw his application. He was escorted by armed guards to a return flight to Johannesburg. He arrived back in South Africa approximately 40 hours after he had left for the U.S.

On August 1, 2007, plaintiffs’ counsel wrote to Mr. Jones, asking whether he would be willing to pass along another inquiry to the State Department and expressing hope that “this problem will be resolved and that the State Department will act on Professor Habib’s visa before the New York conference date.” Mr. Jones agreed to convey the message and inquiry to the State Department.
On August 3, 2007, Mr. Jones’ colleague, Assistant United States Attorney Kristin Vassallo, called plaintiffs’ counsel and reported that the State Department was aware of Professor Habib’s August conference date and travel plans and that the Department was still processing the visa application.
47. On August 7, 2007, 48 hours before Professor Habib was scheduled to depart to New York, consular officials informed Professor Habib that officials in Washington were still processing his visa application and that it would not be adjudicated before his scheduled departure to the U.S. That next day, Professor Habib informed the ASA that he would be unable to speak at his scheduled panel on August 11, 2007. Professor Habib, who was in Italy at the time, flew back to Johannesburg, instead of to New York, as he had planned.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan,

I might need the assistance of The Freedom of Expression Institute...

I am applying for an Iranian visa having been invited to speak by the revolutionary guard at Tehran University on the reasons why Ahmadinejad's nuclear policy should be reversed. I am also hoping to lecture various Ayatollahs in Ishfahan and Qom.

Like you, I do not believe all the nonsense about political dissidents, or anyone else, being thrown into jail and tortured in Iran.

If for any reason I am refused a visa to Iran, will The FXI take up my case, as you have just done for Prof Adam Habib re the US, with deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad ?

viva etc
blacklisted etc


The Freedom of Expression Institute is calling upon Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad to intervene on Prof Adam Habib's behalf regarding the refusal to give him a US entry visa. Although it appears to be based on the notion that Habib might be involved in terrorist activities, The FXI believes that the real reason is that Habib is a leading Muslim South African critic of US foreign policy.

However, it seems strange to exclude Prof Adam Habib on either basis when President Ahmadinejad was recently given entry and a platform to speak at Colombia University.

Perhaps the real reason is more complicated. Prof Adam Habib has been influential in moulding South Africa's foreign policy and this might be why The US has decided to exclude him from their shores. Following this logic, the US might, in fact, be informing South Africa that it does not, like most of the western world, approve of its close links to Iran and Hamas. After all, Minister of Intelligence, Ronnie Kasrils has recently done his best to foster good relations with these regimes on visits both to Tehran and Gaza.

Pretoria has inevitably made enemies in Washington and, like it or not, Prof Adam Habib has paid the price. It might be that The US believes that Habib has indirectly used his position of prominence within South Africa to endorse or espouse terrorist activity, emanating from Iran and Hamas, and as a result should be excluded.

Of course it would be wrong to fall for The FXI's argument that this issue is really all about freedom of expression. The FXI is, once again, following a narrow political agenda; it recently backed Prof Habib as a nominee to The SABC's board and it is evident that The FXI implicitly supports Prof Habib's foreign policy ideas.

Would The FXI come to my aid if I ever had an opportunity to apply for an Iranian visa in order to attend public meetings in Tehran criticizing Ahmadinejad's foreign policy? Would The FXI take the matter up with Aziz Pahad? And if I ever actually gained access to such forums (non-existent!) in Iran, inevitably ending up in a Tehran Jail, would Jane Duncan and Na'eem Jeenah of The FXI fight at the highest levels for my release ?

FXI on US government's ideological exclusion of Adam Habib
Tuesday, 06 November 2007
The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) is concerned about the reasons given by the United States (US) Department of State to University of Johannesburg Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Adam Habib, for his being denied entry into the US. Habib is a political scientist and prominent political commentator.

The reasons were sent to him by the US Consulate General in Johannesburg on October 26, 2007, following an application from Habib for a waiver of his ineligibility to enter the US.

In its letter to Habib, the US government upheld the ban on his entry into the US, citing a section of the US Immigration and Nationality Act which relates to terrorist activities.

The section states that any 'alien' who has engaged in a terrorist activity, or who the US believes to be a terrorist threat or who has signalled an intention to engage in terrorist activity, can be denied entry.

The section adds that anyone who is a representative of a foreign terrorist organisation, or an organisation that endorses terrorist views, or who has used his/ her position of prominence within any country to endorse or espouse terrorist activity, can also be excluded. The letter does not make it clear how Habib is supposed to have violated this section.

Habib was denied entry to the US last year, after having been invited to participate in a panel discussion on globalisation and South African social movements by the American Sociological Association (ASA).

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) also invited him to its 2008 Annual General Meeting, to discuss US travel bans on international scholars who are critical of US foreign policy.

The ban prevents Habib from honouring these speaking engagements. This in turn denies US citizens the right to hear him, which interferes with their US first amendment right to freedom of speech.

The FXI further believes that the banning of Habib is part of a pattern where the US government denies entry to prominent individuals who have criticised US foreign policy. This practice has been termed 'ideological exclusion', and amounts to censorship of views it does not agree with, in the process ensuring that critical debate amongst academics cannot take place.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has taken up Habib's case in the US, has argued that the above mentioned section of the Immigration Act is nominally aimed at those who 'espouse or endorse terrorist activity', but it is vaguely written and easily manipulated to exclude the US government's critics, who are branded terrorists simply by virtue of being critical.

In fact, according to the ACLU, the State Department's foreign affairs manual interprets the section to apply to foreign nationals who have voiced 'irresponsible expressions of opinion'. The practice of ideological exclusion is therefore a violation of freedom of expression and academic freedom.

Recently, Swiss academic Professor Tariq Ramadan was denied entry to the US under its ideological exclusion programme, which cited the same provision in the above mentioned Act.

It is also noteworthy that Habib is Muslim, and this combined with his critical stance on aspects of US foreign policy may well have contributed to his being 'profiled' as a potential terrorist.

A further concern in this case is that Habib’s wife and two children have also been banned from entering the US. Even if any legitimate reason did exist for the US to rule Habib’s entry into that country inadmissible, it is alarming that the US authorities then extend a ban onto his family as well, while they have been innocent of any wrong-doing.

The FXI calls on the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take the matter up with the US government, and to seek a review of the ban. If Habib has been banned on the basis of ideological exclusion, then the Ministry has a duty to protect the freedom of expression of its citizens, including in the international arena.

The FXI is also seeking a meeting with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad, to make representations to him in this regard. The FXI also supports the attempt by the ACLU to have the decision reviewed.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan,

I note that The SABC has today carried a report stating the The Freedom of Expression Institue is worried about the prospective take-over of The Sunday Times by Mbeki's mates.

Do you think that The SABC would carry a similar report stating ... "SACK SNUKI. NO ANC AT THE SABC" ?

Viva etc
Blacklisted etc

FXI distressed by R7bn Johncom bid

November 05, 2007, 08:30
Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) executive director Jane Duncan says the proposed takeover of Johnnic Communication by Koni Media Holdings is very worrying. Johnnic Communication owns the Sunday Times, The Times, Sowetan and Daily Dispatch.

The bid has been tainted with criticism. The DA said the move is a "bold manoeuvre " to put the Sunday Times and Business Day in the hands of the President and would be detrimental to media freedom.

Duncan says some individuals at Koni are very closely connected to the Mbeki administration. She says the bid must be seen in the context of these newspapers reporting on government issues.

"For me this really can't be seen out of context of the government's unhappiness with the Sunday Times' reporting on the Health Minister. But also we should bear in mind that there are other (sides) to the issue here. For instance, Johncom owns the Daily Dispatch, and we know that government has been desperately unhappy with the Daily Dispatch's reporting on the Frere Hospital baby deaths incidents.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


The shenanigans at The ANCB are not a million miles away from the censorship of the press in Zimbabwe. It is a tragedy that The Freedom of Expression Institute, together with Anton Harber, are not more outspoken about these issues.

Four years after being banned, newspapers still in legal battle to resume publishing

Country/Topic: Zimbabwe
Date: 12 September 2007
Source: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Target(s): newspaper(s) , publisher(s)
Type(s) of violation(s): banned , closed
Urgency: Bulletin
(MISA/IFEX) - On 11 September 2003, the Supreme Court passed its "dirty hands" judgment against Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the banned "Daily News" and "Daily News on Sunday" newspapers.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku's judgment led to the closure of the publishing company on 12 September 2003, when police armed with automatic rifles burst into the newspapers' offices in central Harare at about 5:00 p.m. (local time) and ordered all staff to leave. Nqobile Nyathi, the editor, and Simon Ngena, the production manager, were arrested and taken to Harare Central Police Station. They were later released.

Dr Tafataona Mahoso, chairman of the governmental Media and Information Commission, was quoted as saying he would have been surprised if the police had not taken any action because "the 'Daily News' does not exist in terms of the laws of the country" (quoted in "The Herald" of 13 September 2003). These actions were widely condemned by both local and international actors as a serious violation of media freedom.

Four years later, the matter is still pending before the courts as the ANZ continues its fight to be duly registered and licensed to resume publication, as required under the restrictive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), in what can easily pass as one the longest unresolved court cases in Zimbabwe's judicial history.

Many a reader of the popular "Daily News" look back with nostalgia to the reportage by its dedicated editorial team as they fulfilled their journalistic roles as the thermometers and stethoscopes of the country's daily socio-economic, political and cultural temperature and pulse. Their role was simply that of telling truth to power without fear or favour.

What is certain, though, is that some day in the future, the "Daily News" and "Daily News on Sunday", together with other publications which met with a similar fate - such as "The Tribune" and "Weekly Times" - will, like the proverbial phoenix, rise again to afford Zimbabweans increased access to alternative views, opinions and ideas that foster democracy and spur Zimbabwe's socio-economic development.


For further information, contact Zoé Titus, Programme Specialist, Media Freedom Monitoring, MISA, Private Bag 13386 Windhoek, Namibia, tel: +264 61 232 975, fax: +264 61 248 016, e-mail:, Internet:


SABC board approved despite bitter protests
Michael Hamlyn | Cape Town, South Africa
I3 September 2007 04:10

Dene Smuts (DA) was especially upset by the inclusion of Christine Qunta.

"She's the long-standing Africanist associate of our president," Smuts said. "We cannot support her. We have never supported the racial prism through which she views all criticism -- criticism of the president, criticism of corruption against black South Africans covered in the general media and now, upon our questioning, all criticism of the SABC."

Under two hours of questioning by the committee, Qunta confirmed that all criticism of the SABC by the commercial media had a racial bias, Smuts said.

"Further she confirmed ... her confidence in the man we are convinced is the source of much of the trouble at the SABC, the news head, Mr Snuki Zikalala."

This is a better board, Smuts admitted, but to include Qunta in it is to deny the crisis at the SABC.

"It is our fear that the honourable sitting president will appoint her as the chair, and in doing so will perpetuate some of the crisis," Smuts said.

FIX THE FXI writes:
The odds are that Christine Qunta (Mbeki sycophant) will get a second term as chair of The ANCB (African National Congress Broadcasting).

Whatever you think of the following article, it is undeniable that we are, as Qunta writes " living in truly interesting times."

Like Manto, Qunta is contemptuous of The TAC, but I suppose that is just a bizarre feature of our.... "truly interesting times."

So.. for those of you who missed it first time round, here is the heroine of The ANCB....

By Christine Qunta (Business Day, 23 May 2003)

WATCHING white male rage is a truly unedifying spectacle. Being a victim of such rage is even worse.
And it seems as if unrestrained white male rage is back in vogue. All one has to do is to open a newspaper or listen to a radio station.
Health Minister Manto TshabalalaMsimang recently had a taste of some righteous white male rage, courtesy of one German businessman.
After verbally abusing her, he rushes from the plane and contacts a radio station and speaks to another white male whose greatest contribution to this country was breaking the sports boycott as an Irish rugby player during the wonderful old days when everyone knew their place and life was much simpler than now.
Our brave and fearless German man was lucky. He could have ended up with a bloodied nose if it had been a white male or for that matter an African male no doubt a fact that he was keenly aware of at the time of choosing his victim.
Then we have Mark Heywood and Nathan Geffen of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), current media darlings who seem congenitally angry and quite excited about the prospect of doing outrageous things while trying to get Zackie Achmat declared an international martyr with a little help from the University of Natal and Time magazine.
It seems as if white male rage is the black man's (and woman's) burden.
My apologies to those white males who are positive and are rolling up their sleeves to fashion a new society from the ashes of the old. They are, of course, too boring to be courted by the media.
Sometimes amid the anguish and rage about affirmative action and the numerous bogeys white males terrorise themselves with, even I feel some stirrings of compassion.
That is, until I am reminded of the reality we live in when I read, as I did about two weeks ago, about the labour department's employment equity report for 2001 and 2002. It shows that 75% of top management positions in companies in SA are occupied by white males.
At one level one can sympathise with the culture shock they have had to go through since 1994. One minute the only black women they interact with are those who clean their houses and the next minute they have to share their workplace with them, sit next to them in business class, have them make policies that affect their lives and, even worse, have them as bosses.
However, if the black middle class can observe white male rage at close quarters, the poor people of this country are in the paradoxical situation of suddenly having acquired white male champions in Parliament, at Afrikaans universities and on the streets.
As to the cause of the poverty and their role in creating it, they assume black people's memories are short and their hearts big.
It's interesting seeing these recent converts to the cause of poverty get their three minutes of fame, sometimes with Africans in the background like extras on a movie set. They do not speak. They are spoken for in the proud white liberal tradition of this country.
If the issues facing poor people in this country were not so serious, the situation would be quite comical.
As the election gets closer we might even see some stranger sights, such as Tony Leon and Douglas Gibson of the Democratic Alliance toyi-toying. Who knows, the TAC might even become a political party and join forces with Patricia de Lille.
The real business of managing SA and attending to the needs of the poor in a serious, systematic way will go on regardless of these entertaining sideshows.
If you are white and male, you can scream marginalisation, even extinction, while holding sway in the economy and smiling all the way to the top of the corporate ladder (and the bank). This can be done all at once, with a straight face. We are living in truly interesting times.


The following is from the SABC's website and refers to the appointment of Dali Mpofu. It is Zikalala Klassick.

New SABC GCEO takes firm stance against corruption
Dali Mpofu, the SABC's newly appointed GCEO

August 01, 2005, 19:15
"Dali Mpofu, the new Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the SABC, took up his new job today with a firm stance against corruption. Mpofu takes over management of the national broadcaster from Peter Matlare who resigned earlier this year.

Day one in the hot seat and Dali Mpofu is clear about his vision for the SABC. He says he hopes to bring values like team building, integrity and respect to the corporation. He made it clear that corruption and mismanagement will not be tolerated.

"For anybody to steal even one cent from the people of this country with resources stretched as they are, is an unforgivable crime. The issue of zero tolerance is going to be practiced. The first person that is caught will be used as an example," Mpofu said.

The SABC board has expressed confidence in Mpofu's track record - with a career path that meanders through law and business. Eddie Funde, the SABC board chairperson said: “He understands what needs to happen with the external stakeholders and what needs to happen with the internal stakeholders, staff and management. It's a dynamic combination for us."

SABC man resigns but CEO Mpofu keeps mum
Sue Blaine Business Day 27 August, 2007

SABC CEO Dali Mpofu was tight-lipped yesterday about whether his friend and business partner,Mafika Sihlali, resigned or was suspended on Friday.

SOUTH African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) group CEO Dali Mpofu was tight-lipped yesterday about whether his friend and business partner, Mafika Sihlali, the SABC’s legal services chief, resigned or was suspended on Friday.
It is alleged Sihlali defrauded the SABC of up to R2m, although no criminal charges have been laid.

Sihlali apparently resigned before he was suspended on Friday but Mpofu said he had seen no resignation letter, and refused to comment on the SABC decision to suspend Sihlali with immediate effect and on full pay, months after the fraud allegations were made.

“I have not seen the letter. I am on the South Coast (of KwaZulu-Natal),” Mpofu said.

Mpofu was apparently advised to let Sihlali go in April, three months before the Mail & Guardian published allegations that Sihlali and his attorney Barry Aaron had defrauded the SABC of about R1,8m. The newspaper’s story was based on a leaked audit report.

“I can’t comment about my friendship. This is about the SABC, not me,” said Mpofu.

Mpofu, however, also refused to comment on Sihlali’s allegation, in the Sunday press, that his suspension had to do with a “scramble” for SABC board seats.

Sihlali was not available for comment yesterday.

His lawyer, Barry Aaron, said he had not heard from Sihlali “for two weeks” and he had no idea what his intentions were.

“I was never really doing a labour matter. I got thrust into it when I did the urgent application,” Aaron said.

Earlier this month Sihlali lost an urgent application in the Johannesburg High Court to stop the SABC from discussing his suspension.

Mpofu apparently has business links with Sihlali in at least nine companies whose interests range from mining to investment and financial services.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said there was no date yet set for Sihlali’s disciplinary hearing and could not even say whether it would be this year.

Sihlali’s suspension followed a “comprehensive” investigation commissioned by the SABC board’s audit committee after allegations of corruption and abuse of power were levelled against him, Kganyago said.

The SABC viewed the allegations “in a very serious light” but respected Sihlali’s right in law, and under SABC policy, to have his version of events heard before any further action was taken against him, Kganyago sai

What Dali Mpofu didn't say ...
Stefaans Brümmer and Adriaan Basson
07 September 2007 08:08 (M&G)

When South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) boss Dali Mpofu led the public broadcaster to quit the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) last week in protest against the “profit-driven” media’s treatment of Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, he neglected to mention a commercial interest that might have clouded his own judgement.

Mpofu, chief executive and editor-in-chief of the SABC, outlined the SABC’s reasons for quitting Sanef in a four-page letter to its chairperson, Jovial Rantao, last Friday.

He has outside interests, not least in Deutsche Bank and in the Elephant Consortium that bought into Telkom.

It was Martin Kingston, Tshabalala-Msimang’s son-in-law, who gave Mpofu the leg-up in the Deutsche deal some months before he started at the SABC two years ago.

Kingston was Deutsche’s chief country officer at the time.

Mpofu chairs empowerment ve-hicle Uthajiri, which gained a 15% stake in Deutsche’s local operations. He was appointed and remains a director of Deutsche....

Mpofu and four partners, including now-disgraced SABC legal head Mafika Sihlali, formed the Uthajiri group in 2004. Its first, and perhaps only, significant deal came in February 2005 when Deutsche announced its empowerment deal, which Kingston drove. In an interview with the Mail & Guardian late last year Kingston said it was among his proudest achievements in BEE.

Kingston is married to Pulane Kingston, Tshabalala-Msimang’s daughter from an earlier marriage. Tshabalala-Msimang is now married to ANC treasurer general Mendi Msimang. After Kingston left Deutsche in June last year he formed his own investment advisory firm, Longcross Capital, with his wife and the ANC treasurer as co-directors.

Mpofu said in response to M&G questions that he had declared his interests to the SABC and that the M&G “either does not understand the concept of conflict of interest or it is dishonestly clutching at straws in a typical attempt to trivialise the important issues raised by the SABC in the Sanef letter …

“To contrive a conflict based on a son-in-law who used to, but no longer works for a company in which I was part of a BEE deal in 2004 as a reason for the decision taken by the entire group executive and supported by the board of the SABC in 2007 is nonsensical and stretches credulity beyond acceptable limits.

“It is not exactly clear what commercial benefit I might possibly gain from this ‘conflict of interest’ by writing the Sanef letter.”

The M&G, meanwhile, has obtained a copy of Pauw’s letter of resignation. It states: “I did not intend to resign today, but after the publication of [Mpofu’s letter to Sanef], I have no other option but to offer my resignation … I take offence against a statement that the SABC is ‘not prepared to associate with the enemies of our freedom and our people’ …

“It is false to describe newspapers like the Sunday Times and Mail & Guardian as ‘enemies of our freedom and our people’ … The letter smacks of political jargon and could just as well have been written by the Presidency. I have lost any confidence in the leadership of the corporation. It is clear that the SABC has deteriorated into nothing less than a state broadcaster.”

Pauw confirmed his resignation, but referred other queries to the SABC.


I wonder whether the following quote might apply to The Harbinger ?
(Evens money Prof Anton would tell his students that it applies to.... FIX THE FXI !)

"The strength of blogs," writes journalism professor Anton Harber in his column "The Harbinger" on, "is that they are relaxed, unedited, unmediated and are not bound by many of the standard limitations of journalism -- and it is also their greatest weakness."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Does The Freedom of Expression Institute think that Anton Harber is a neo-conservative?

FIX THE FXI posted the following on Anton Harber's blog (The Harbinger) re his article "Are these the thoughts of a neo-conservative?"

September 12th, 2007 at 2:25 pm
I think you are an old style ANC leftist. I am not fooled by your attempt to distance yourself from the neo-conservative label. All “old style ANC leftists” are neo-conservatives. It is a particular breed that identifies with the ANC establishment and has to toe the party line either to keep employment or to get rich quick. That, of course, is the awful irony of the New South Africa. Dali Mpofu should be astute enough to realize this.
Anton, give us a straight answer to a straight question..Do you think Snuki Zikalala should be sacked?

Why doesn't Harber call for Snuki's sacking in the following article? Surely, Zikalala's role as head of news and current affairs at The ANCB (AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS BROADCASTING) should be mentioned? Harber has clearly backed off at a time when he should be sharpening his pen. So... it might be best to take Harber's "beliefs" with a large pinch of politically correct salt. In his position as head of journalism at Wits, Harber is now very much part of the establishment.

Actually, having thought about it a bit more, Harber is a "left-wing ANC neo-conservative". According to the latest edition of The DSM ( The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), this political shizophrenia is not treatable and ultimately leads to censorship and national insanity.

(1) He believes that he can gently criticize govt but he must not rock the boat.
(2) he believes that if he rocks the boat he will not have a long-term future in South Africa.
(3) He believes that he should be politically correct.
(4) He believes that he should support Ronno Einstein’s anti-zionist escapades.
(5) He believes that Zikalala should be sacked but he doesn’t believe that he has the guts to shout it from the rooftops.
(6) He believes he should have a public spat with Dali Mpofu so that he can underline that his "beliefs"
do not threaten Mbeki's government.
(7) He believes that it is not even worth discussing what a "right wing neo-conservative" actually believes.
(8) He believes that any beliefs he once had must be flushed down The ANC's democratic toilet.
(9) He believes that it is not worth fighting tooth and nail for freedom of expression in South Africa.
(10) He believes, when he turns off the light at night, that he doesn't have any beliefs.

Are these the thoughts of a neo-conservative?
by Anton Harber
September 3rd, 2007
SABC boss Dali Mpofu called me a rightwing neo-conservative in the weekend papers. It is the second time he has done that. But you can judge for yourself.
Let me spell out a few things about myself.
I believe in a public broadcaster, and I would like it to get greater state support and become less dependent on advertising so it can make editorial decisions with greater freedom than the commercial media. The public broadcaster should be able to do more things which commercial media can’t do - those things that may not make commercial sense but make for good journalism, education and public debate. I believe the public broadcaster should be setting the standards for journalism in this country.
I believe the government should, through the Media Development and Democracy Agency, be putting more resources into growing community media. Small, local media is the bedrock of media diversity and will feed the bigger national media. We need more of it, and the government’s role should be to enable and stimulate it.
I support local content regulations and would like to see them gradually increased to promote local drama, music and our indigenous cultural industry.
I believe we need more media in more of our official languages and the government should be subsidising this through channels such as the Pan-Language Board.
I believe the government should be closely watching the development or potential development of media monopolies, or over-powerful media groups, in order to protect and encourage diversity. I believe the state should be ensuring that we have an equitable and accessible newspaper distribution system which is open to all and encourages new and more voices, and is not controlled by the big at the expense of the small players.
I believe we need to strengthen the broadcasting and telecoms regulator and take the power of appointment of councillors away from the Minister, who has too great an influence on this body. I believe we should encourage them to license more television and radio stations.
I believe the state should be much more aggressive and interventionist in promoting cheap broadband access for all South Africans. We cannot fully exercise our economic and political rights without it.
I believe the state should stop taxing books and spend a lot more on libraries and related services.
I believe in a journalism which is fiercely independent, critical and outspoken. I don’t care much whether stories are positive or negative, but I do care if they are insightful, probing, informative and thought-provoking. I believe journalists are there to prod us into thinking about things, to cause trouble for the complacent, and to get up the noses of anyone with power and authority. I believe that patriotic journalism is when we play our proper role in ensuring that power is not abused and that political and financial power is wielded with accountability and transparency. I believe that we practice developmental journalism not when we spend our time telling everyone what government, business or NGOs are doing, but when we ask tough questions on behalf of those who can’t ask themselves, and demand proper answers.
These are all views I have expressed from time to time in my writings. You can decide whether these are the views of a neo-con.

In 1996, Harber helped put together a consortium to bid for privatised radio licences, a group which was the only one to win two licences. In March 1997, Harber was appointed CEO of Kagiso Broadcasting, owners of a number of media interests, and in October 1997 an executive director of Kagiso Media Limited, listed on the JSE. He served as a member of the boards of East Coast Radio (Pty) Ltd, Jacaranda 94.2fm (Pty) Ltd; Ofm (Pty) Ltd, Systems Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Radmark (Pty) Ltd and Kagiso Exhibitions (Pty) Ltd.
He was chairperson of the National Association of Broadcasters for two years (1999/2000), a member of the board of South African Advertising Research Foundation and a trustee of the Media Industry Trust. He has served as a media adviser to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellowship for Journalists programme of the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a trustee of the Phil Harber Jazz Education Trust and the Anthony Sampson Foundation and he is a member of the board of directors of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism. He is convenor of judges for the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Awards and the Taco Kuiper Awards and Grants for Investigative Journalism.