Saturday, September 8, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan and Na'eem Jeenah,

In the light of recent comments about the banned Mbeki documentary, don't you think that The FXI / PSC should be publicly demanding, loudly and clearly, that Snuki Zikalala be immediately sacked ?

For the record you should now reveal whether are you both members of The ANC. I am concerned that when push comes to shove, your political allegiances might have discouraged The FXI / PSC from demanding Snuki's dismissal.

On 7/24/07, na'eem jeenah wrote:
Oh stop being a little child!

Can you not read? Were you not at the protest outside the SABC? Did you not hear the
speeches and the slogans? Do you not know that even many ANC members want Snuki's
head? Don't be a naïve fool!

Not that it's any of your business whatsoever, but since you asked so nicely: No, I am not an
ANC member. Have never been.

Oh, and btw, you should check how many members of the South African Jewish Board of
Deputies are members of the ANC. According to your dumb (il)logic, you should be asking:
why is the SAJBD meeting with Snuki Zikalala? Why did the SAJBD withdraw its complaint
against the SABC? Why will the SAJBD not be present at the Icasa hearing tomorrow when it
and the FXI are supposed to present to Icasa's Complaints Compliance Committee on the
SABC blacklist saga? Check it out!

Dear Na'eem Jeenah,

Thank you for your email.

I was at the rally and I spoke to Jane Duncan.

The SABC rally was , to quote your own words,, dominated by a "motley crew". For about two hours traditional healers used it as a platform . Unfortunately this deflected from the real issue, namely that Zikalala should be immediately sacked for his political interference at The SABC.

When I previously emailed you about the fact that the head of news and current affairs should not be a position held by a senior ANC member, you told me that, in principle,The FXI had no problem with such a situation.

I have on numerous occasions pointed out that your own position as spokesperson for The PSC has affected The FXI's position on various matters ( your blog entries, inter alia, are evidence of this).I suspect that this is the reason why you are oblivious to the fact that Snuki Zikalala's wider political allegiances, are instrumental in dictating the stances that he takes at The SABC.

With regard to your questions about The SAJBD, I suggest that you pose them directly to The SAJBD. I am not their spokesperson and have often criticized the stances that they have taken. I am independent ( unlike you, who hold many positions outside of The FXI !) Of course, you can always vent your anger re The SAJBD (and The SAJR) on your blog.

To conclude, I emphasize that senior appointments at The SABC and The FXI should not be held by people who have other axes to grind. Only a "naive fool" would think otherwise. It is, of course, irrelevant that some people at The SAJBD and PSC are ANC members, but you are not sharp enough to understand that such organizations are inherently different from The SABC and The FXI. In the circumstances, perhaps Jane Duncan can explain the differences to you.


What will the South African press write about this story??

Is Zimbabwe joint-hosting 2010 ? Has Mr Blatter lost his marbles? Has anyone told him that Mugabe is officially barred from travelling to the 27 nations in the EU ?

The SABC news website has a "Klassick Zikalala" special....if only John Kennedy and George Orwell were alive today... is the report really from Reuters ?..."signs of political unrest" must be the understatement of 2007...

"FIFA to assess Zimbabwe ahead of 2010 world cup"
September 04, 2007, 22:30
Officials from soccer's governing body FIFA will visit Zimbabwe next week to assess capacity to host fans from the 2010 World Cup to be held in neighbouring South Africa, Zimbabwe's tourism authority said today.

The country hopes to cash in on its proximity to South Africa -- the first African country to host the event -- as a flood of tourists arrives in the region for the world's most popular sporting event. But with inflation running at more than 7 000%, a battered infrastructure and signs of political unrest there is a prospect that soccer fans will stay away.

Several western governments have already issued travel warnings to their citizens about heading to Zimbabwe. However, the southern African country is banking attractions, such as the Victoria Falls resort and one of Africa's largest elephant populations, will lure visitors.

Maintaining high standards
In a statement today, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said the FIFA delegation starts a four-day tour on September 10. It will visit several three- to five-star hotels in Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and other tourism facilities.

"Zimbabwe boasts of one of the highest standards in tourism and hospitality, with a grading system that meets any international standard," said Karikoga Kaseke.

"They will definitely also be looking at such issues as facilitation at ports of entry, customs and immigration and transportation," he added. Zimbabwe plans to spend $67 million on hotels and infrastructure ahead of the World Cup. Environment and tourism minister, Francis Nhema, said Zimbabwe had to scramble to prepare.

"It is either you prove your worth or they move to the next country. Don't tell them we have this problem and the other, tell them what you can do for them," state media quoted him as saying. - Reuters

("And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
John F. Kennedy)


FIX THE FXI hopes that The Freedom of Expression Institute will immediately comment on the events leading to Jacques Pauw's resignation. The latter is, sadly, another casualty escaping from The SABC wreckage.

FIX THE FXI congratulates Mr Pauw for his courage and hopes that he will soon return to lead, after Snuki is sacked, The SABC's news and current affairs department.

The FXI should now state, loudly and clearly, that The ANC immediately removes its "sticky-snuki" fingers from The SABC pie. Jane Duncan should, moreover, realize that The SABC, like The FXI, is no place for political appointees, whether they be ANC activists like Zikalala, or Islamic activists like Jeenah.

"Special assignment” producer quits

by Giordano Stolley (The Citizen)
JOHANNESBURG – The head of the SABC’s Special Assignment team has resigned from the national broadcaster because he has “lost confidence” in the organisation’s leadership.
A statement released by the broadcaster on Friday morning said the organisation had accepted Jacques Pauw’s resignation.
“While the SABC acknowledges that Pauw has the right to his opinions, we however do not agree with the reasons given in his resignation letter.
“If Mr. Pauw was to retrospect on his own experiences in the newsroom and as executive producer of Special Assignment, with the type of stories they have done and are covering, it is clear that there is no justification for the reasons he has put forward.”
The statement did not provide reasons for Pauw’s resignation and Pauw himself could not be reached for comment.
The Mail&Guardian newspaper reported that it had a copy of Pauw’s resignation letter, and published extracts, one of which said: “I did not intend to resign today, but after the publication of ŠSABC boss Dali Mpofu’s letter to SanefÆ, 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 clear that the SABC has deteriorated into nothing less than a state broadcaster.”
The Mail&Guardian also reported that Pauw had said in his resignation letter that it was “false to describe newspapers like the Sunday Times and Mail&Guardian as enemies of our freedom and our people.”
Mpofu recently sent a resignation letter to the national editors forum (Sanef) charging that the media had behaved “shamefully” in its reporting of Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, accused of having a drink problem and a theft conviction.
“Shame on all of you, especially those who have turned their backs on your own cultural values for 30 pieces of silver, pretending to be converted to foreign, frigid and feelingless ‘freedoms',” wrote Mpofu in his weekend letter, made public by SABC.
“We cannot remain quiet while our mothers and our democratically chosen leaders are stripped naked for the sole purpose of selling newspapers,” he added.
Mpofu’s attack infuriated Sanef, which believed such reports have been entirely justified and made comparisons with the whites-only apartheid era when SABC was little more than a propaganda tool.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said no decision had been made on who would succeed Pauw. Kganyago said the SABC “found it strange” that the organisation had received a media enquiry about Pauw’s resignation a few days before Mpofu had released his letter to Sanef.
He said SABC was being asked to confirm whether Pauw had left the national broadcaster to join Telkom Media.
He said: “It look’s bizarre that ŠMpofu’s letterÆ becomes the reason for Pauw’s resignation.”
Telkom Media spokesman Chris van Zyl said he could not comment on the reasons for Pauw’s resignation.
He said that he was not aware of Pauw seeking employment at Telkom Media. “Licences are only going to be awarded next week. it would be premature (for Telkom Media) to go hiring journalists,” he said.
Telkom has said it would enter the pay television market with the creation of Telkom Media, a private company with a 41,5% black economic empowerment shareholding. The Mail & Guardian reported that it had applied to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa for a commercial-satellite and cable-subscription broadcast licence.
Reacting to news of the resignation, the Democratic Alliance spokeswoman on communication, Dene Smuts, said the SABC had lost one of its best journalists to “bad management and an abysmal board”.
“SABC viewers will be furious that one of their favourite journalists and producers, Jacques Pauw, has resigned from the public broadcaster.
“Pauw’s programme Special Assignment was the only SABC offering considered credible by respondents in a current affairs survey commissioned privately by Manager of News and Current Affairs Snuki Zikalala.”
The Mail&Guardian reported that it had a copy of the survey, titled Qualitative Overview of Current Affairs Programmes, compiled by research firm Plus 94 in March 2007.
According to the newspaper the researchers couldn’t find anyone in the focus groups who watched the television programme In The Public Interest, the brainchild of Zikalala and SABC chief executive Dali Mpofu.
The programme assesses the media.
Smuts said, “We will no doubt suffer another round of colourful condemnation of the theft of private property from the SABC after this latest leak. But the simple fact is that the ship is already sinking, and that is the fault of its captains. Besides which, the survey says what all South Africans know. –Sapa


The Freedom of Expression Institute has now reinstated their comments facility together with the comments that I posted.

Strange that it tookThe FXI nearly 4 weeks to do so? However, better late than never.

Re The FIX THE FXI poll:
30% of voters correctly predicted that The FXI would restore the comments facility before Manto left office. This has proven to be an extremely shrewd prediction but it does unfortunately indicate that there is little confidence in Mbeki's decision making.

20 % of voters also correctly assessed that the messiah would not "rock up" in the interim. Perhaps this can be put down to a lack of faith or a cynical malaise ?

30 % voters were also right when they stated that the comments would return prior to South Africa winning the World Cup. One can only hope that Bafana Bafana will not be put off in 2010.

20 % also correctly guessed that England would not do a 1966 before the comments were reinstated. Perhaps this was a prediction born out by experience ?

On a more serious note, freedom of expression devotees can only hope that The FXI now has the sense to start engaging in a real debate regarding the multiplicity of issues that FIX THE FXI has raised. Don't, however, put your money on it. The FXI has no track record of being accountable to the public and it is highly unlikely that they will change their attitude now.


It seems that contempt for freedom of expression is endemic in Mbeki's govt. The following report reveals how Essop Pahad wants to deal with The Sunday Times for exposing Manto.

It is particularly worrying that The ANC's totalitarian tendencies are so openly on display since the eyes of the world are following South Africa's every movement in the build-up to the next election and 2010 World Cup:

Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad is not yet pursuing his opinion that the government should pull advertising from the Sunday Times, presidential spokesperson Mukhoni Ratshitanga said on Friday.

He explained at length that Pahad, who is the political head of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), was only expressing a personal view and that it was not government policy.

"It is just a view, albeit a very strong one," Ratshitanga said.

Friday, September 7, 2007


From: aposner
Date: 31 August 2007 7:50:28 AM
To: ferialh

Dear Ferial Haffajee,

I refer you to the following cartoon which is on the homepage of the Media Review Network website.

Please would The Mail and Guardian congratulate The MRN for using, what seems to me, to be an old-fashioned anti-semitic cartoon.

Is it possible that you could also feature this cartoon in The Mail and Guardian? It would remind your readers that The Jews are inherently evil and should be exterminated asap.
The Blacklisted / YiDictator.


The following letter was published in today's Mail and Guardian. Quite a turn up for the M&G's letter's page when one considers just how much The M&G hates/despises the email missives that I usually send them.

However, since it concerned The SABC's resignation from SANEF ( Ferial Haffajee as M&G editor is a member), the sentiment which I expressed was obviously more to HRH's liking.

My email refers to The SABC's resignation as a response to SANEF's support of The Sunday Times Manto expose:

From: amposner
Date: 03 September 2007 8:27:23 AM

Sanef chairperson Jovial Rantao has said that the forum had received a letter from the SABC announcing its intentions on Friday. "We will be seeking a meeting with the SABC to discuss the contents of the letter."

What a mistake on SANEF's behalf!

SANEF shoud be delighted that The SABC is does not need Zikalala's toxic waste. The ANC should export the latter to Harare where it truly belongs.

(btw, The M&G chose to delete my seven word finale ....."SACK SNUKI! NO ANC AT THE SABC!")


Does The Freedom of Expression Institute serve as a mouthpiece for the Media Review Network ? For those of you who don"t know, Thw MRN is an Islamic "media" lobby group based in Pretoria. It has close links with Ronno Einstein (South Africa's Minister of Intelligence and roving Minister of anti-zionist affairs).

When I recently pointed out in a letter to The Citizen that Na'eem Jeeenah's should not be director of The Freedom of Expression Institute and spokesperson of The Palestinain Solidarity Committee, it was none other than Iqbal Jassat from The MRN who attempted a "reply" on Jeenah's behalf.

South Africans should wake up and realize that The Media Review Network collaborates with Na'eem Jeenah of The Freedom of Expression Institute; together they ensure that the media is as anti-zionist as possible.

However, it is particularly worrying for South African Jewry that The FXI has remained silent about the anti-semitic cartoon which appears on The MRN's website.

The FXI is, as a result, tainted by The MRN's anti-semitism. It is about time that Jane Duncan took cognizance of what The FXI's ally in Pretoria up to!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


It seems that freedom of expression in South Africa is going down the "democratic" toilet.
MP Mike Water's language was neither "offensive or unbecoming".
It is clear that, day by day, South Africa is going down the Harare road.

Take a look at the following report....

Manto theft question rouses Assembly
Richard Davies | Cape Town, South Africa (Mail and Guardian)
05 September 2007 04:57

There was an uproar in the National Assembly on Wednesday when Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Mike Waters was ordered to leave after a written question he posed to Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang was ruled out of order.

Speaker Baleka Mbete ruled the question -- whether Tshabalala-Msimang had been convicted of theft in 1976 while employed at a hospital in Botswana, and whether she had disclosed this information to President Thabo Mbeki when she was appointed to her portfolio -- to be out of order.

"I have ruled the question by Mr Waters out of order because it transgresses the rules and practice of the National Assembly ... which forbid the use of offensive or unbecoming language.

"It is patently clear from the question that was submitted ... that it reflected on the integrity of the minister, as it implies impropriety on her part," said Mbete.

It is an "established principle of this House that allegations against another member can only be brought before the House by way of a substantive motion", she said.

"Such a motion should be properly motivated and substantiated. Members cannot be allowed to reflect on the integrity of others in the form of questions, or other means, other than through the mechanisms that this House has imposed upon itself.

"So I have ruled the question out of order and I am not going to allow a debate on the matter," she said.

Her ruling provoked an uproar from DA benches, with both DA MPs Ian Davidson and Tertius Delport rising on points of order, but being ordered to take their seats by Mbete. Waters himself then rose, and called on Mbete to tell him which words in his question were "unbecoming".

Mbete told him to take his seat, saying she was finished with the matter, but Waters repeated: "I would like you to direct me those words!"

She then ordered him out of the House. Waters initially refused to leave, and Mbete repeated her order for him to do so seven or eight times.

"This is a farce, an absolute farce ... you're covering up for a thief," Waters shouted, causing further uproar among MPs before storming out of the House. -- Sapa

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Iqbal Jassat (MRN) writes:

"Media freedom in South Africa came at a great cost. So did all of the freedoms enshrined in the constitution after decades of struggle. It, therefore, will be a sad day if these freedoms are sacrificed at the altar of Zionist lobbies."

Don't the Jews also sacrifice Christian children and use their blood to make matzos at passover?


Nice to know that Jane Duncan and Na'eem Jeenah of The Freedom of Expression Institute do approve of FIX THE FXI.

In a comment, with regard to Patricia de Lille's attempt to regulate blogs, The FXI, inter alia, stated:

"As for blogging, this is a very important form of democratisation of the media. Like all media, blogging can be used to express viewpoints that some or other people in society might not like. But this is what freedom of expression is about: being able to accept that the right extends to people who will express viewpoints that might be unpopular."

I think, however, that The Freedom of Expression Institute, should have the guts to start replying to the many points that FIX THE FXI has raised.

At its best, freedom of expression is a two-way (or more) discussion, and The FXI should be much more willing to engage in the issues that I have blogged.

At the moment, The FXI's dismissive attitude is rather reminiscent of the arrogance of power. If The FXI feels that it doesn't need to engage, it might well find that it will lose the debate by default.

In particular, The Freedom of Expression Institute should now reply to my point that The spokesperson for The Palestinian Solidarity Committee ( Na'eem Jeenah) should not be the director of The FXI. Would it be fair if the spokesperson of The South African Zionist Federation was director of The FXI ??

The following is an example of Na'eem Jeenah's work outside of The Fredom Of Expression Institute:

Issued by End the Occupation Campaign
24 MAY 2007

The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is “criminal and intolerable”, Intelligence Minister and African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee member Ronnie Kasrils said in Johannesburg today (24 May) at a media briefing to announce plans for a week of national protest action in solidarity with the Palestinian people from 4-9 June......

Issued by End the Occupation Campaign
24 May 2007
For more information or interviews, call:
Na'eem Jeenah - 084 574 2674

To make matters worse, The Freedom of Expression Institute has been heavily involved with a multiplicity of issues regarding Ronnie Kasrils, The South African Jewish Report and The South African Jewish Board of Deputies. In the circumstances, it is quite impossible for Th FXI to be fair, objective and professional about these issues. I have, of course alluded to many of the points on FIX THE FXI.
The FXI,moreover, often appears to be little more than an arm of The Media Review Network (MRN) and, as a result, has lost its independence.


The Freedom of Expression Institute should answer the following questions:

Section 10.1 explains how the exec committee controls The FXI.

10.1 Members shall be admitted by making an application in writing to the Executive Committee, which shall have the sole discretion as to whether to admit a member or not within the requirements of the constitution.

To unravel how The Freedom of Expression Institute is controlled, FIX THE FXI would have to get access to minutes pertaining to The AGM's.These documents, however, are not available on The FXI website so the puzzle cannot readily be solved.
Although, The FXI theoretically believes in freedom of expression it is unwilling to make its AGN minutes available to the public.

The FXI is a voluntary, non-governmental organisation managed by an Executive Committee, which is elected once every two years at the organisation's Annual General Meeting (AGM ). In addition to the Executive Committee, the FXI has a staff of eight full-time members.

4. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 4.1. The management of the Institute shall be vested in the Executive Committee which shall be composed of between 7 (seven) and 12 (twelve) members, who shall be elected by a secret ballot at the bi-annual general meeting. They shall serve in office for 2 (two) consecutive years but shall be eligible for re-election.
4.8 Only the Chairperson, or the Executive Director with the Chairperson’s authorisation shall be entitled to issue press statements on behalf of the Institute and delegate that authority.

9 9. MEMBERS AND MEMBERSHIP There shall be three classes of members, patrons, full members and associate members: 9.1 Patrons shall be people who are (a) recognised for their commitment to the cause of freedom of expression and (b) invited by the Executive Committee to serve as patrons. 9.2 Patrons shall be entitled to vote at an AGM and have the same rights as full members. 9.3 Full members shall be individuals and not-for-profit organisations as contemplated in section 10.2 below who have been duly accepted, and who have paid their subscriptions, if required, prescribed by the Executive Committee, and who have been duly accepted as such and have been enrolled. 9.4 Associate members shall be individuals and not-for-profit organisations as contemplated in section 10.2 below who choose not to become full members, and who have paid subscriptions, if required, prescribed by the Executive Committee, and have been duly accepted as such and have been enrolled. 9.5 Associate members shall not be entitled to vote at an AGM, but one representative of the associate member shall be entitled to speak at such a meeting. With the consent of the general meeting, additional representatives of an associate member shall be entitled to speak.

10. ADMISSIONS AND EXPULSION OF MEMBERS 10.1 Members shall be admitted by making an application in writing to the Executive Committee, which shall have the sole discretion as to whether to admit a member or not within the requirements of the constitution. Provided that an individual or organisation who has been refused membership may require the Executive Committee to put such application for membership to an AGM for decision.

10.5 The Executive Committee shall be entitled to expel any full or associate member from the Institute in the following circumstances:
10.5.2 when any member of the Institute has materially contravened any of the objects or resolutions of the Institute, or any member who publicly supports objectives inconsistent with section 3 above or who engages in activities which are likely to bring the Institute into disrepute or to lead to an actual or apparent conflict of interest;



The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been accused of systematic pro-government bias after taking a different stance from most fellow journalists in coverage of the controversial health minister.

Such allegations against the SABC mounted after its chief executive, Dali Mpofu, sent a resignation letter to the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) charging that the media had behaved "shamefully" in much of their recent reporting on Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, accused of having a drink problem and a theft conviction...

Mpofu's attack infuriated Sanef, which believes such reports have been entirely justified and made comparisons with the whites-only apartheid era when SABC was little more than a tool of propaganda...

An editorial this week in the Times daily recalled how the SABC had worked hand in glove with the apartheid authorities and bemoaned that "history was repeating itself" under Mpofu.


From: amposner
Date: 05 September 2007 4:47:30 PM

How did The Freedom of Expression Institute get hijacked ?

Who controls The FXI ?

How is The FXI run ?

Is The FXI democratic?

How do its voting procedures work in theory and in practice ?

Does the way that power is wielded at The SABC and The FXI have anything in common ?

If anyone can answer these questions, please elucidate by way of a comment.


Has The FXI complained about Mbeki's tacit support of Mugabe's "spying" bill ?


A "spying" bill that would allow the Zimbabwean government to intercept mail, phone calls and emails without having to get court approval was signed into law on 3 August by President Robert Mugabe, reports the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).

Under the "Interception of Communications" law, service providers will be forced to install "enabling equipment" on behalf of the government, which would allow senior intelligence, police and revenue officials to intercept telephone, email and cell phone messages through a newly created central monitoring agency.

MISA called 3 August a "sad day for Zimbabweans." "The government has refused to open the airwaves, closed newspapers and, as if that is not enough, it now wants to pry into people's conversations," MISA says. "This is simply an indication of a government that is afraid of its own citizens."

MISA is looking at mounting a constitutional challenge against the law in the Supreme Court.

Visit these links:
- "IFEX Communiqué" on the bill:

(7 August 2007)


Date: 05 September 2007 3:20:41 PM

To whom it may concern at Crisis Zimbabwe:

I understand that The Freedom of Expression Institute is co-presenting "readings" in Johannesburg with regard to the serious crisis in Zimbabwe. I hope that the evening is successful and duly receives wide coverage in the media.

However, I draw your attention to the fact that The FXI seems most reluctant to publicly criticize Mbeki's support of Mugabe.

I refer you to WHY IS THE FXI SILENT ON ZIM ?:

FIX THE FXI encourages Crisis Zimbabwe to take this matter up with The FXI. The latter should be much more critical of Mbeki's tacit support of freedom of expression violations in Zimbabwe.


Hundreds of Southern Africans - including at 3 centres in South Africa - will participate this weekend in a global readathon to raise consciousness about the plight of Zimbabweans struggling for social justice, democracy, freedom of expression and economic survival.

This is the third Worldwide Reading organized by the Berlin Literature Festival under the theme: “The Anniversary of a Political Lie”. The first Worldwide Reading in 2005 appealed for peace in Iraq. The second in 2006 was in memoriam of the award-winning Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who was assassinated for her courageous reporting on human rights abuses in Chechnya.

The core texts to be read in over 40 countries worldwide are poems by acclaimed Zimbabwean writers Chenjerai Hove, Chirikuré Chirikuré and Dumbudzo Marachera, as well as Elinor Sisulu's foreword written for the book "Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe: A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988" (Johannesburg 2007).

In South Africa veteran poets and activists Dennis Brutus and Don Mattera and acclaimed poet/storyteller Gcina Mhlophe will be among those participating in readings in Durban, Johannesburg, Durban and Grahamstown. The readings are presented by The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, the Freedom of Expression Institute and the Platform for Public Deliberation.


Friday, 7 September, 6pm  • University of the Witwatersrand Theatre
Contact: Zandile or Khethani • 011 836 9624 • 078 651 7111 •


From: amposner
Date: 05 September 2007 2:36:05 PM

Dear Natasha,

The Ifex should view the following;

Please also read the other articles on the site and make up your own mind whether The Freedom of Expression Institute should be part of The IFEX.
kind regards
The Blacklisted Dictator

Whilst Manto refuses to resign as Minister of Health, Na'eem Jeenah (spokesperson for The Palestinian Solidarity Committee) stubbornly stays on as director of The Freedom of Expression Institute.

It is impossible for Na'eem Jeenah to be fair and objective about freedom of expression issues.

Like Manto, Na'eem should go.

The Freedom of Expression Institute should realize that it is no place for partisan ideolgy.

Moreover, The IFEX should revoke The FXI's membership as it is totally unacceptabe that The FXI has been hijacked in this ridiculous manner.

Jeenah currently works for the Freedom of Expression Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has also taught Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Jeenah was born in the coastal city of Durban on the 8 August 1965. Under South Africa's Apartheid Population Registration Act he was classified "Indian". He cut his political in the 1980s when, while he was still in secondary school, the country erupted into almost a decade of nationwide student protests, followed by widespread resistance in trade unions and communities - especially in the African "townships". This was the period when the liberation movement succeeded in making South Africa "ungovernable".
After school, Jeenah entered the highly-politicized University of Natal Black Section, the medical school (only for Black students) that was attached to the White University of Natal. Through his activities with the Muslim Students Association of South Africa and the Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa, he was thrust into the political limelight as these organizations became increasingly involved in the anti-Apartheid struggle. His activism, however, was mostly inspired by Islam and was prosecuted through Muslim organizations.
After spending two years at the Medical School and a year at the University of Durban-Westville, Jeenah dropped out of university to find a job and get married. He married Shamima Shaikh, who he met for the first time when the couple was arrested during a consumer boycott campaign. Shaikh became one of South Africa's most well-known Islamic feminists. She died in January 1998, leaving Jeenah with two sons.
Jeenah rose in the ranks of the Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa to become its national General Secretary and, later, its president. He was also, for a period, the editor of the Movement's mouthpiece newspaper, Al-Qalam. He steered the movement in a way that increased its political activism during the anti-Apartheid struggle. He also, along with Shaikh and others, founded the Muslim Youth Movement Gender Desk, the foremost organization of Islamic feminism in South Africa. It was also during the 1980s that Jeenah helped his organization and the Muslim community in South Africa to get involved in inter-faith activities - particularly through the South African chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace. Working with the latter, he was also a member of the drafting committee of a landmark document produced during South Africa's constitution-drafting period called the Declaration on Religious Rights and Responsibilities.
In 1994, on the eve of South Africa's first democratic elections, Jeenah's family joined those in South Africa who had sacrificed family members for the struggle: his brother, Mohseen Jeenah, a student leader and anti-Apartheid activist, was gunned down in the early hours of the morning of the 17th January by Apartheid police.
Jeenah and Shaikh undertook the hajj pilgrimage in 1997, while Shaikh was already suffering from the effects of breast cancer, which had affected her severely. On the couple's return the authored a book about their pilgrimage called Journey of Discovery: A South African Hajj. Soon after, they founded the Johannesburg-based Muslim community radio station called The Voice, which exposed radical and progressive Muslim voices to the Muslim community and became a flagship for women's rights, inter-religious tolerance and anti-imperialist rhetoric. It also gave a voice to refugee communities and social movements. Shaikh died just four months after the station went on air.
Jeenah's career has been a checkered one, spanning the NGO sector, academia, religious organizations and journalism. But it is as a progressive Muslim activist and an international solidarity activist that he has made his mark.
Jeenah currently holds the position of Director: Operations at the Freedom of Expression Institute. He is also the Coordinator of a progressive Johannesburg mosque, Masjidul Islam, a steering committee member of an inter-religious organization focusing on women's issues called The Other Voices, a spokesperson for South Africa's Palestine Solidarity Committee and Anti-War Coalition and is a member of the International Coordinating Network for Palestine. He is often interviewed as an expert by various media on issues related to Islam or the Muslim world, Muslims in South Africa, the Middle East, Islamic Feminisms, political Islam, freedom of expression and various other issues. An experienced journalist, he writes for a number of publications and reports for a network of radio stations in the US. He is also a monthly columnist for the South African newspaper Al-Qalam.
Jeenah has various Islamic qualifications through international courses completed at different universities in the Muslim world. He has organized and addressed numerous meetings, seminars, workshops, conferences, and training programs on various issues related to Islam, South Africa, the Middle East, youth development, journalism, information technology and various other issues – in South Africa and internationally. He has co-authored a book and has published articles and papers in journals, magazines, newsletters, newspapers and other publications. These have ranged from news pieces to analyses and opinion pieces.

Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang (whose full name is Mantombazana Edmie Tshabalala-Msimang) (born 9 October 1940) is the controversial Health Minister of South Africa under the government of Thabo Mbeki (as of 2007). She was a deputy minister of Justice from 1996 to 1999, and then has served as Health Minister since 1999.
Her emphasis on treating AIDS with vegetables such as garlic and beetroot, rather than with antiretroviral medicines, has been the subject of international criticism.
She graduated from Fort Hare University in 1961. As one of a number of young African National Congress cadres sent into exile for education, she received medical training at the First Leningrad Medical Institute in the Soviet Union from 1962-1969. She then trained as a registrar in obstetrics and gynecology in Tanzania, finishing there in 1972. In 1980 she received a master's in public health from the University of Antwerp in Belgium. She was an official within the exiled ANC leadership in Tanzania and Zambia during the latter decade of apartheid, with job responsibilities focused on the health and well-being of ANC militants there.


Let us assume, some day before Manto leaves office, that The FXI comments facility returns.

The question arises whether the comments, that have been posted on the site, will also reappear. Will The Freedom of Expression Institute use it as an opportunity to conveniently erase these postings ? If they do, then clearly it will be a serious abuse of freedom of expression.

I think that it would make an interesting news story, and FIX THE FXI hopes that if such a situation arises, the national media will report that the The FXI is, when push comes to shove.....The Freedom of Censorship Institute (FCI).


The blogs have today returned to The FXi site. Good news indeed.
But bad news as well..the FXI's comments facility (together with all the comments that have been posted) is still "disconnected". A pity and a continuing blow to freedom of expression at The FXI.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


From: aposner
Date: 05 September 2007 10:13:50 AM
To: vtilley

Dear Dr Tilley,

Perhaps you would like to post a comment, with regard to the attached item, which appears on..

Viva viva
Blacklisted etc

The following news report will delight Dr Virginia Tilley (HSRC) and Ronno Einstein (South Africa's Minister of Intelligence and roving Minister of Anti-Zionist Affairs). Virginia and Ronno both admire Ahmadinejad and seem to believe that he can do no wrong.

Imagine how pleased they must be to discover that their hero not only denies the holocaust but is also a self-proclaimed mathematical genius! Ahmadinejad has, of course, put his mathematical ability to good use and has cleverly calculated that 6 million Jews did not die in the holocaust.

Ronno Einstein can be certain that when he again goes to Tehran, to further develop South African / Iranian nuclear relations, he will meet a President who is, at least, on the same intellectual wavelength. Perhaps Dr Tilley can tag along on a fact finding "no holocaust" mission for South Africa's prestigious Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) ?

God and maths convince Ahmadinejad Iran is safe

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his calculations as an engineer and his belief in God convince him that Iran will not be attacked by Western powers trying to end its nuclear programme.

Ahmadinejad, who regularly chides the West and talks proudly of his academic skills, brushed off the suggestion that force might be used.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during the opening ceremony for the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity in Tehran September 3, 2007. (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
"There were days when some inside the country were pressuring us to retreat, (saying) 'Otherwise there will be a war'," Ahmadinejad told students and academics on Sunday, according to the daily Etemad-e Melli.

"But I told them that I am an engineer and familiar with analysis and examination ... The enemies will not dare to fight us," he told the group.

"I give two reasons to those who have the same concern. First, I am an engineer, a master of calculation and tabulation. I write out hypotheses for hours, I reject and I prove them again. I make plans based on reason and proof ...

Dec 2006
During the last few days, I have been engaged in an "on and off" email exchange with Dr Virginia Tilley. For a number of reasons Dr Tilley has requested that our emails do not enter the public domain and due to the fact that our correspondence was always "private", I have, of course, respected her wishes.

Dr Tilley is currently employed in South Africa at The HSRC. She has an MA from the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (Georgetown University) and a Phd in political science (University of Wisconsin).

I was first prompted to email Dr Tilley about the Iran Holocaust Conference. My interest in her views had been piqued after reading her article "Putting words into Ahmadinejad's mouth."( 28/8/2006). Dr Tilley concluded:

"we will doubtless continue to read in every forum that Iran's president - a hostile, irrational, Jew-hating, Holocaust-denying Islamo-fascist who has threatened to "wipe Israel off the map" -- is demonstrably irrational enough to commit national suicide by launching a (nonexistent) nuclear weapon against Israel's mighty nuclear arsenal. The message is being hammered home: against this media-created myth, Israel must truly "defend itself."

I was curious to discover whether, in the light of the Holocaust conference, Dr Tilley had changed her views or whether she still believed that the whole thing was a "media- created myth". I also wanted to know whether she approved of the Holocaust conference and whether she though it was a good idea that characters such as David Dukes (head of The Klu Klux Klan and notorious anti-Semite) were invited.

More recently, as Hamas and Fatah head towards civil war, I asked her which of the parties she supported. I thought that she might be in the Hamas camp because she had written an article entitled "Hamas and Israel's 'Right to Exist' ". The Doctor's words will shock you, so take a deep breath:

"What does a "right to exist" mean exactly? There is no "right to exist" for states under international law. The formula has arisen in international diplomacy uniquely to Israel." (Dr Tilley, 12/5/2006)

Before I had the chance to question Dr Tilley about the implications of this article, she unfortunately lost her patience with me. I must add that Dr Tilley was kind enough to wish me good luck, but our email exchange was abruptly terminated when I suggested to Virginia that her unorthodox engagement in the Middle East "debate" might well have affected her academic career as a political scientist.

However, I wonder... could it be that Dr Tilley has been employed at The HSRC in Pretoria in order to answer the highly controversial question... "Does South Africa have a 'right to exist' "? Let's hope that she will get in touch with "It's Almost Supernatural" (blog) and provide us with a definitive answer ASAP.

UMSHINI WAMI (aka ak47)

An interesting freedom of singing debate?


Mail and Guardian.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Young Communists League (YCL) took issue on Tuesday with African National Congress (ANC) national chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota over his remarks about those singing the freedom song, Umshini Wami.

"We respect comrade Lekota's views but we disagree with them strongly," Cosatu said in a statement.

The federation said it objected strongly to Lekota's remarks, broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, condemning those singing such songs as being izibhanxa (brainless or fools) and called on him to apologise publicly.

Cosatu had sought clarity from Lekota, who had explained he was making a general point not aimed at anyone in particular, including ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma.

"He argues that songs sung at this juncture have to be consistent with the key messages of the ANC. In his view these messages must be about reconciliation, peace and development."

Cosatu said if these views were left unchallenged, they would "certainly mislead a whole new generation of cadres".

"Most importantly, we disapprove strongly of the manner in which he raised his views. Sometimes it is not about what you say but how you say it."

On television, Lekota was clearly incensed and pointing to his head.

"That gesture and his body language, and calling those singing the song ... fools or brainless, which is the direct interpretation of 'izibhanxa', was to show how stupid, and what empty vessels, people who sing [it] are."


If you can help The FXI out with a myriad of website technical problems then please contact The FXI direct.

Na'eem Jeenah would probably view your email as "spam" so it might be better to contact his colleague Jane Duncan...

it is important that The Freedom of Expression Institute restores freedom of expression asap and "the powers that be at The FXI " should be open to some much needed technical assistance.


According to the poll, 25% of voters, so far, believe that The Freedom Of Expression Institute will re-instate the website comments facility before "the messiah rocks up." This really is excellent news and reveals that voters do have some faith in The FXI.

However, I wonder whether a miracle will it possible that the comments facility will return together with all the comments that I posted?

( Btw, if you haven't voted in the poll please do so.)


You can bet your last rupee that The "FXI / PSC / MRN" etc would try and stop Maulana Jamil Ilyasi, president of the All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques, from entering South Africa.

Indian Muslim Leaders Praise Israel During Official Visit

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz( 21/8/07)

( In a first-of-its-kind visit, a delegation of Indian Muslim leaders is currently on an extensive tour of Israel. The group's leader repeatedly expressed his pleasure at having his preconceptions about Israel overturned. The Muslim leaders' visit to Sderot on
A delegation of rabbis, including Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger, made a similar trip to India.
Monday included a first-hand lesson on Palestinian Authority rocket attacks.

The Indian Muslim visit to Israel was arranged at the invitation of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Australian Israel Jewish Affairs Council. Earlier this year, a delegation of rabbis, including Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger, made a similar trip to India.

Maulana Jamil Ilyasi, president of the All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques, is heading the Indian delegation. His group represents about 500,000 imams and 200 million Indian Muslims, 40% of the global Muslim population. Among the other members of the delegation are Akhtarul Wasey, the head of the department of Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia, Mahmoodur Rahman, former vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), and Sahara Samay editor Aziz Burney.

According to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), when the Hindustan Express carried a front-page story about the visit of prominent Muslims to Israel, at least one member of the group, Sirajuddin Qureshi, dropped out. As a major meat exporter, Qureshi " feared the news of his journey to Israel could adversely affect his business prospects," according to IANS. The news agency noted that the visit has caused controversy among Indian Muslims.

'Muslims in India Should Come See for Themselves'
"The Jews I have met here say that we are all children of Abraham, part of the same family," Imam Ilyasi said with a measure of surprise. "This is something I didn't hear in India. The Muslims in India should come and see things for themselves."

Ilyasi said his visit had reversed many of his own prejudices: "My initial impression was that the Israelis are certainly dominating Muslims out here. Once I came here, that impression completely changed. I saw the reality on the ground, the mutual respect Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews have for each other. Constant conflict is not the reality here." In Jerusalem, he said, "I saw that Muslims, Christians and Jews lived side by side happily, not at each other's throats."

In fact, Ilyasi claimed, in some ways, Israel treats Muslims better than India does: "I was pleasantly surprised to know that the Sharia (Islamic law) is being supported by the Israeli government; whereas, in India, only local Muslims implement it. That is unique." Ilyasi was apparently referring to the existence of government-sanctioned Islamic courts in the Israeli justice system, which handle marriage, divorce and conversion issues for Muslim Israelis. Similar religious courts exist for Jews and Christians.

Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international director of inter-religious affairs in New York, said, "This visit is of great strategic importance and hopefully will impact on the wider Muslim world as well."

Unfortunately, the Muslim delegation also learned a different lesson on Monday, while visiting the Negev city of Sderot, a frequent target of Palestinian Authority rocket attacks.

"We heard a warning shot which was followed by a siren. We were immediately rushed to a shelter house where we heard the sound of a rocket attack," a member of the delegation told the Times of India.

Joint Declaration With the Chief Rabbis
The delegation of Muslim Indian leaders took part in an inter-religious dialogue on Sunday with representatives of the Chief Rabbinate, which concluded with the signing of a joint declaration with the two Chief Rabbis, Rabbi Yonah Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar.

"It is high time for the religious leaders of both sides to engage in dialogue and use their collective influence to stop the bloodshed of innocent civilians," the declaration said. "Rather, we need to condemn killings, reject extremism, and the misuse of religion for acts of violence. Suicide is a forbidden act in Islam and therefore suicidal attacks can not find sanction."
Muslim Indian leaders took part in an inter-religious dialogue on Sunday.

Even before his visit to Israel, Ilyasi said that Indian Muslims "believe in the Indian tradition of resolving issues through dialogue and peaceful means."

"The time for violence has come to an end, and the era of peace and dialogue between Muslims and Jews has begun," said Ilyasi. He also called on Pakistan to establish official relations with the Jewish State.

The Indian delegation was also received by President Shimon Peres, who said that whereas past international efforts focused on separating religion from the state, the current struggle is to separate all religions from all types of terrorism. Peres went on to say that the One God respects human life without distinction and hate. "We are all children of Abraham," the President said, adding, "Jerusalem is a living example of co-existence among all the religions. The voice of the Muslim muezzin, the bells of the Christian church and the song of the Jewish cantor - all rise together to Heaven, unhindered, without borders, and with no need for visas."

President Peres also noted the Indian struggle against terrorism and factionalism, praising the country for maintaining its democratic character throughout.


The MRN's anti-semitic cartoon should be viewed in a wider context.

The ideology which it expouses is prevalent, for example, in The Hamas Charter.

Hamas is an organization that has Ronno Einstein's, as well as The MRN's blessing.

I have asked Jane Duncan and Na'eem Jeenah (spokesperson for The Palestinian Solidarity Committee) whether they believe that The SABC should broadcast The Hamas Charter but they have failed to reply.


Antisemitism is a recurring theme in the Hamas Covenant.
Hamas' critics argue that Hamas is "full of hatred towards the Jews."
Critics also state Hamas is primarily anti-Zionist, but perceives Judaism as wholly embracing Zionism, and therefore has often failed to distinguish between the two.

The Covenant cites The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the propagandist book falsely attributed to Jews, stating it embodies a "Zionist plan" for "limitless" territorial expansion:
Today it is Palestine, tomorrow it will be one country or another. The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"
Other examples in the Hamas Covenant include:
Introduction: Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and God's victory is realised.
Article 7: ... the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of God's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, God bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O slaves of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharqad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."
Article 28: ... when the Jews conquered the Holy City in 1967, they stood on the threshold of the Aqsa Mosque and proclaimed that "Mohammed is dead, and his descendants are all women." Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. "May the cowards never sleep."
According to Robert Wistrich,
"Like other Islamists, the Hamas uses antisemitic language, full of hatred towards Jews, ever since its foundation in 1987. In its Sacred Covenant [18 August 1988], there are frequent references to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which would have gladdened the hearts of Hitler and Goebbels. It is difficult to see what any of this has to do with spirituality, works of charity, dialogue or the search for peace."[68]
In 1998, Esther Webman of the Project for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Tel Aviv University wrote: "...the anti-Semitic rhetoric in Hamas leaflets is frequent and intense. Nevertheless, anti-Semitism is not the main tenet of Hamas ideology. Generally no differentiation was made in the leaflets between Jew and Zionist, in as much as Judaism was perceived as embracing Zionism, although in other Hamas publications and in interviews with its leaders attempts at this differentiation have been made."

According to Meir Litvak's 2003 study, "In Hamas' literature, antisemitism became almost dominant. Earlier antisemitic motifs are developed time and again in their magazine Falastin al-Muslama. Almost every issue contains anti-Jewish articles using elements from the Islamic tradition. Judaism is presented as a religion based on lies, which from its origin called for aggression against others and their exploitation."

Co-founder of Hamas Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi reiterated beliefs of Holocaust denial in 2003, contending that the Holocaust was a Zionist — Nazi collaboration for the purpose of encouraging emigration to Israel.

Also in 2003, the director of Hamas Children’s Summer Camp in Gaza City Sohab Alissa was anti-Semitic:
“The first thing we want to teach them is their cause. They know from daily experience that their enemy is the Jew — our job is to explain why. In the Koran much is said about the bad behavior of the Jew. Some teachings say God cursed the Jews”[72]
The chief of Hamas' political bureau Khaled Meshaal also denied antisemitism in Hamas's ideology in February, 2006:
"Our message to the Israelis is this: We do not fight you because you belong to a certain faith or culture. Jews have lived in the Muslim world for 13 centuries in peace and harmony; they are in our religion "the people of the book" who have a covenant from God and his messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), to be respected and protected."
"Our conflict with you is not religious but political. We have no problem with Jews who have not attacked us — our problem is with those who came to our land, imposed themselves on us by force, destroyed our society and banished our people."[73]
On 30 March 2007 Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan ended his "prayers to Allah" in a sermon broadcast on the Palestinian Authority’s TV quoting the hadith "The Hour [of Resurrection] will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, and the rock and the tree will say: 'Oh, Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him!'" Al Aqsa mosque would be "liberated" "through the rifle", since the Israeli occupation knew no other language. He asked "Jihad-fighting worshippers" in "Palestine and everywhere" and Allah to take away the oppressor Jews and Americans and their supporters!"

In April 2007, Palestinian Media Watch released a video in which "Dr. Ahmad Bahar, acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council," refers to Israel's Jewish citizens as a "cancerous lump" and prays to Allah to "count them and kill them to the last one, and don't leave even one."

In an article published on April 23, 2007 in the Hamas paper Al-Risalah, its author Kan'an Ubayd stated: "... the extermination of Jews is good for the inhabitants of the worlds on a land, to which Allah gave his blessing for the sake of the inhabitants of the worlds.”


From: amposner
Date: 04 September 2007 9:47:59 AM

Dear Na'eem Jeenah and Jane Duncan,

I note that the blog section on the right hand side of The FXI website has also been disconnected.

Before I start campaigning for its return, perhaps you can let me know why it has been removed.

viva etc
blacklisted etc

SEP 4TH at 2pm

Further to the above email, I phoned Jane Duncan. It was the first time that we have spoken on the phone although we had previously chatted at an FXI SABC demo.

Jane said that she was surprised that the blogs had disappeared and she hoped that the blogs would shortly reappear on The FXI website. She said that it was a techno issue and had nothing to do with censoring my views.

I also reminded her that it was now more than three weeks that the comments had been disconnected. She admitted that it was a long time and said that she hoped that they would reappear in the near future.

The good news is that Jane said that she does actually read FIX THE FXI and we can only hope that she seriously considers some of the issues that this blog raises. To be fair to her, unlike Na'eem Jeenah, she does at least recognize that FIX THE FXI is making some important points ( although she doesn't agree with all of them).

However, it is important that The FXI reinstates its comments section, together with the comments posted asap. I also hope that the blog section will shortly resurface. The FXI have an obligation to ensure that freedom of expression returns to their website. Techno excuses are really not good enough!
Subject: FXI blog section
Date: 04 September 2007 2:03:48 PM
To: amposner

Hi Anthony,

I have just spoken to Na'eem in connection with the blog section on the FXI website. He says that there is a technical problem and will be in touch with you in connection with this.

Please be assured, we are not censoring you. Even though we often don't agree with you, we value your interest in the work of the FXI.



(The above is the only email that I have received from Jane in 2007. So although she values my '"interest in the work of The FXI" she obviously feels that such interest does not warrant reasoned replies from The FXI. A pity, especially when you consider that the work of The FXI is theoretically based on freedom of expression.)

And a nice friendly email from Na'eem Jeenah...
Date: 04 September 2007 3:15:30 PM
To: amposner

Anthony Posner

the blogds stream was disabled yesterday because, it was discovered, it
was messing up the line length of the right column of the website. It is being
looked at and will be reinstated as soon as possible when the problem is

Na'eem Jeenah

Monday, September 3, 2007


Dear Jane Duncan,

President Ahmadinejad seems to think that Kian Tajbakhsk's ties to the George Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute indicate that his loyalties are skewed towards The United States and Israel.

Please inform The Iranian Ambassador in Pretoria that the director of The Freedom of Expression Institute is also spokesperson for The Palestinian Solidarity Committee. As you well know, The FXI has an extremely strong anti-zionist anti-US agenda and is, moreover, mainly funded by..... the George Soros Foundation's Open Society.

Perhaps President Ahmadinejad is, like many other people, unaware of this fact, and your own case history re the "Open Society" might, strangely enough, help to secure Tajbakhsh's release.

viva etc
blacklisted etc

The New York Times:
Freed Scholar Leaves Iran; Another Still Held
The scholar, Haleh Esfandiari, 67, director of Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East Program, left Iran late on Sunday after authorities returned her passport. Her passport was taken away in January when she came to Iran to visit her ailing mother and she was jailed in May and released last month on security-related charges.

The other scholar who was arrested with Ms. Esfandiari in May, Kian Tajbakhsh, an urban planner with ties to the George Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute, is still being held despite promises of his release to his family


Date: 03 September 2007 5:47:13 PM

Dear Jane Duncan,

What does The Freedom of Expression Institute think about the attached statement from SANCO re The SABC ?

Do you intend commenting on their statement? If not, why not?

viva etc
blacklisted etc


The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) commends the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for its brave and patriotic decision to walk out of the South African National Editor's Forum (SANEF).

The outcome of the Kempton Park negotiated settlement presented South Africa with an opportunity to create a united country that actively embraces reconciliation whilst recognising the country's diversity.

The Constitution adopted in 1996 guaranteed a range of internationally acclaimed freedoms. The Constitution entrenched and secured a Bill of Rights. It is within this context that all South Africans understand the decision of the SABC to defend our Constitution and the opportunity for South Africa to create a society that is fair, just, and focussed on dramatically improving the lives of the poor.

The decision taken by SANEF to undermine all other rights and to irresponsibly defend this so-called public interest has revealed a crude right-wing agenda, with SANEF's unqualified support of the immoral and illegal activities of the Sunday Times. SANEF is attempting by all means to appoint the profit-driven media as the un-elected defender of the public interest.

The SABC's refusal to participate in this counter-revolutionary programme is the action of an institution that recognises the progressive role the media is supposed to play. We call on all other sectors of South African society to support the SABC's stance.

SANCO calls on the Democratic South African government to withdraw all advertising and sever all relations from the Sunday Times and all SANEF members who continue to support this reactionery SANEF position. The severing of relations, including the withdrawal of advertisements must be done in concert by all departments, and spheres of government, namely, Local, Provincial and National governments, and all State-owned enterprises.

We further call on the private sector, who continue to rely on government contracts and financial relations to support this noble call of defending our hard won democracy, by also severing all comercial relations they have with the Sunday Times and the SANEF members who continue to support them.

We call on the African National Congress (ANC) to review government policy on the role of the media in the light of the Supreme Court ruling on the case between The Sunday Times and the Minister of Health.

We also call on the progressive members of the media to support the SABC and establish a progressive platform rather than SANEF to represent the media. Since SANEF has steadfastly refused to play a leadership role and is a platform to defend the conduct of its members at any cost.

The abuse of the freedom of expression is a danger to the constitution and media freedom itself, and is a recipe for anarchy and thereby slowing down our transformation of South African society and our battle to overcome poverty and achieve national reconciliation.

For further clarifications and comments, you are welcome to contact SANCO NEC member, Donovan Williams on 083 634 7179.

In living its goals SANCO is committed to strive for the following:

The implementation of the freedoms and securities enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa including freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of association and equality for all.


Address by Ronnie Kasrils, MP Minister for Intelligence Services Women’s Day Celebration Musanda 7 August 2007:
"let me leave you with the prophetic statement of the women of 1956 who said: ‘the level of civilisation which any society has reached can be measured by the degree of freedom that its members enjoy. The status of women is a test of civilisation…’."

Speaking in East London yesterday (Sep2nd), The Health Minister said: “I am not going to step down … I don’t understand why I should … unless, as the president has said, you give me reasons why I should step down.

“What is it I have done — neglected the duties given to me?

‘‘If I have, please give us that information, as the president has said. It is the president who appointed me and it is his constitutional right to relieve people of their duties.”

When asked about reports of her conviction for stealing from a patient in Botswana, Tshabalala- Msimang replied that it was “a long story”.

“I will discuss that with you at another time … but I have not come here for Botswana stories.”

She told journalists: “I have come here in an effort to see what the department can do to improve the quality of health care here — and that is what you should be concerned with. It might be your relatives and your friends who are admitted to our health facilities.”


Dear Na'eem Jeenah,

Does The Freedom of Expression Institute consider that the Swedish caricature of the prophet Mohammed is "hate speech"?

The relevant articles can be accessed on The Media Review Network website and are also available on the FIX THE FXI blog:

"On August 18, Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda published a cartoon by Swedish cartoonist But Lars Vilks, depicting Prophet Muhammad as a dog to illustrate an editorial on self-censorship and freedom of expression and religion."

I refer to your article in 2006 about the Danish cartoons:

"That the real issue surrounding the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad
is hate speech and incitement to violence, rather than freedom of
expression, is clear when the intent behind their publication is understood."

So...where do you and The FXI stand on this matter?

And, for the record, what do you think about the anti-semitic cartoon published on The MRN website?

Viva etc


The Freedom of Expression Institute has now "dIsconnected" its comments section for 3 weeks! Na'eem Jeenah has given us no indication regarding when it might return together with my posted comments.

The Freedom of Expression Institute is really The Freedom of Censorship Institute! A truly Orwellian NGO.

If readers of FIX THE FXI have any idea when The FXI might decide to put it back on-line....then please vote in the poll.

From: aposner
Date: 03 September 2007 1:12:40 PM

Dear Na'eem Jeenah,

I hope that you don't consider this email to be "spam".

As you know, I am doing everything I can to ensure that The FXI re-connects its comments section.

I have discussed this matter with IT"S ALMOST SUPERNATURAL and have received the following reply , which I think that you would agree, is extremely encouraging.

"Haloscan is a free very secure commenting service that can be added to any site/blog. Maybe the FXI should use it? Its impossible to hack their site through haloscan."

Sunday, September 2, 2007


I hope that The Freedom of Expression Institute will sign the following RSF petition, even though the South African govt is unfortunately "hell-bent" on bolstering up Ahmadinejad's regime:

Dear Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran

I wish to draw your attention to the case of Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolvahed Botimar, two journalists sentenced to death on 16 July 2007. To the best of our knowledge, these men were only doing their job, as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I ask you therefore to intervene with your government to secure their immediate release.

Date: 02 September 2007 6:56:40 PM

Dear Jane Duncan,

As you know Ronno Einstein, South Africa's Minister of Intelligence, recently went to Tehran to strengthen Iranian / South African relations.

What does The Freedom of Expression Institute think about Ahmadinejad's appalling freedom of expression violations in Iran ?

I know that The Freedom of Expression Institute hates The US and Israel. But you have not said a dickey-bird about Iran.

Why are you supporting an extreme totalitarian agenda?

I quote from the following IFEX action alert:

"Iranian authorities have stepped up their efforts to persecute and jail journalists, activists and human rights defenders, report human rights groups worldwide. Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) wants you to sign a petition demanding the release of two of their latest victims: Iranian Kurdish journalists whose death sentences were confirmed by the authorities on 31 July."

Will The FXI sign The RSF petition?

Viva etc
Blacklisted etc,9171,1657824,00.html
Intimidation In Tehran
Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 By AZADEH MOAVENI

Things began falling apart in the spring when authorities raided neighborhoods all over Tehran to confiscate illegal satellite dishes, Iranians' link to the outside world. The police swooped down on our building early one morning, kicking the devices down with their boots. Two of my neighbors, using their mobile phones, recorded footage of trucks carting off the dishes, only to have the phones confiscated as well. My 6-year-old nephew wept, desolate at the loss of his cartoon channel and angry that we had not called the police. "But the police were the ones who took the dish," I explained. "It was against the law."


Iranian authorities have stepped up their efforts to persecute and jail journalists, activists and human rights defenders, report human rights groups worldwide. Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) wants you to sign a petition demanding the release of two of their latest victims: Iranian Kurdish journalists whose death sentences were confirmed by the authorities on 31 July.

Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolvahed "Hiva" Botimar both wrote for the weekly magazine "Aso" until it was banned by the government in August 2005, forcing it to halt reports on the widespread unrest that broke out in Kurdish areas following the death of a 25-year old Kurd who was shot by police in Mahabad. The riots were violently suppressed by the authorities.

RSF is appealing to the international community to ask Iran, one of the world's leading practitioners of the death penalty, to reverse its decision and refrain from executing the two men "who only exercised their right to inform their fellow citizens." Sign RSF's petition here:

The journalists are believed to have been given death sentences - in closed trials - for being "mohareb" ("enemies of God") and "acting against national security" - for expressing their views on the Kurdish issue. Hassanpour, who also contributed to foreign media outlets including Voice of America and the Prague-based Radio Farda, was detained in January and was held incommunicado without charge. Botimar, an active member of the environmental organisation Sabzchia, was arrested in December 2006. The Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) says both men experienced torture and degrading treatment in prison.

KHRP is concerned that the judgment will be implemented within three weeks if there is no international intervention. RSF reports that on 3 August, the European Union stepped forward and reminded Iran that it is signatory to international covenants that affirm the right to a fair trial.

International PEN's Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) and KHRP believe that Botimar and Hassanpour were not only targeted for being journalists, but also for being Kurdish. According to WiPC, an "apparent pattern of repression against journalists and human rights activists in Iranian Kurdistan" has been ongoing since unrest broke out in 2005. Several other Iranian-Kurdish journalists are currently detained, and four Kurdish intellectuals were arrested a week after the death sentences were handed down for their activities in support of Hassanpour and Botimar, says WiPC.

Continuing the pattern of Iran's latest crackdown, RSF reports on a number of cases of journalists being targeted. Journalist Soheil Assefi was arrested when he presented himself to a Tehran court on 4 August in response to a summons. Neither his family nor his lawyers know where he is being held or what he is charged with. Officials from the prosecutor's office searched his home on 31 July, taking personal documents and his computer's hard disk.

Also on 31 July, editor Emadoldin Baghi was sentenced to three years in prison for writing articles that defended persons who were sentenced to death in southern Iran, while his wife and daughter received three-year suspended sentences for participating in a series of human rights workshops in Dubai. Emadoldin edited the "Jomhouriat" newspaper, until it was closed down by the authorities in September 2004, while his wife was editor of the now-defunct monthly "Jameh-e-no".

Journalist Farshad Gorbanpour, who works for the news website Roozonline, was arrested and sent to Tehran's Evin prison, also on 31 July. The charges against him have not been revealed.

"These developments confirm that the human rights situation in Iran is getting worse by the day," says RSF.

IFEX members have recently reported on the increased harassment of women's groups, students and U.S.-Iranian dual nationals. According to RSF, Iran continues to be the Middle East's biggest prison for the press - 11 journalists and cyber-dissidents are currently in jail, in often deteriorating conditions. Human Rights Watch reports that student editors and activists who were arrested in May and June on "politically motivated charges" have been subject to beatings, 24-hour interrogation sessions, sleep deprivation and threats at the hands of the authorities who are trying to extract confessions.


Dear Jane Duncan,

If The Freedom of Expression Institute was in possession of Manto's medical records would you make them available on your website?

FIX THE FXI thinks that you should do so but only if the records reveal that (1) The Health Minister is an alcoholic and (2) should not have gone to the top of the liver transplant list.


The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on Monday commended the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for its "brave and patriotic decision" to break ties with the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef).

Sanco also called on the African National Congress to review government policy on the role of the media.

"The abuse of the freedom of expression is a danger to the Constitution and media freedom itself, and is a recipe for anarchy and thereby slowing down our transformation of South African society and our battle to overcome poverty and achieve national reconciliation," it said.

Date: 03 September 2007 8:27:23 AM

Sanef chairperson Jovial Rantao has said that the forum had received a letter from the SABC (Dali Mpofu) announcing its intentions on Friday. "We will be seeking a meeting with the SABC to discuss the contents of the letter."

What a mistake on SANEF's behalf!

SANEF shoud be delighted that The SABC is does not need Zikalala's toxic waste. The ANC should export the latter to Harare where it truly belongs.


Mail and Guardian:
The SABC abandoned "all pretence at professionalism and impartiality" when it decided to withdraw from Sanef, The Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

The proposal of the SABC board to break away from Sanef "defies the commitment to accountability on the part of those holding public office, to the right of the public to be informed, and to freedom of expression", said Democratic Alliance spokesperson on communications Dene Smuts on Sunday.

She added: "If it is true that the minister has a problem with alcohol consumption, then the public has a right to be informed."

She criticised the SABC's portrayal of Tshabalala-Msimang. "Instead of dealing with this issue and holding the minister to account, the SABC has been showing on some news bulletins footage ... the minister sitting beautifully dressed and coiffured at her desk, apparently in full command of her faculties and portfolio, smiling like a movie star while an administrative assistant hovers for instructions."

Smuts concluded: "It is [Dali Mpofu] who is delinquent, not Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya."

The SABC under apartheid and under the ANC — comparison makes interesting viewing (COLUMN)
Justice Malala: Monday Morning Matters Published:Sep 03, 2007
Deja vu at See And Believe Corp.

History does, unfortunately, repeat itself.

Last week, the SABC’s chief executive officer, Dali Mpofu, wrote to the SA National Editors’ Forum to tell it that the national broadcaster was cutting all ties with it.

The main reason given for the decision was that the forum had defended the right of the Sunday Times to publish allegations that Health Minister Manto Tshabalala- Msimang was a drunk and a thief.

In a letter to the forum’s chairman, Jovial Rantao, Mpofu wrote: “When you [Rantao] and the Raymond Louws of this world justify criminal theft, you must know that you are not speaking for the SABC and the majority of South Africans.

“The same people who, at the beginning of the year, were frothing in the mouth about how soft the government is on crime are now flag-bearers for the theft of medical records, which might result in endangering a human being’s life and her future treatment! How inhumane and how far removed from the basic value of ubuntu.

“Shame on all of you, especially those who have turned their backs on your own cultural values for 30 pieces of silver, pretending to be converted to foreign, frigid and feelingless freedoms.”

Elsewhere in the letter, Mpofu said: “Even less are we prepared to associate with the enemies of our freedom and our people. We cannot remain quiet while our mothers and our democratically chosen leaders are stripped naked for the sole reason of selling newspapers. This in Women’s Month, nogal.”

Mpofu’s letter reminded me of the ANC’s submission on the role of the media — under apartheid — to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997.

The section on the SABC is beautiful and poignant, and reminds me of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

It reads: “The SABC was the most important weapon in the apartheid state’s battle for the hearts and minds of the people. The state controlled and ran the national broadcaster. Through the SABC board … it ensured that the corporation stayed true to its mandate of propping up the apartheid state through spreading disinformation.

“There are numerous reported examples of state interference in the SABC’s activities, and it is an illusion to imagine that the SABC was anything other than the propaganda machine of the apartheid state.

“Its actions during this period can be summarised as follows.

The SABC’s channels were primarily used to promote only the interests of the ruling party, and to propagate only those views that reinforced the hegemony of the apartheid state.

In addition, the SABC was often a virulent opponent of the liberation movements, and played a primary role in spreading disinformation and lies about the activities of these movements and their leaders.

As a rule, there was no attempt at balance in the coverage of news events. Official sources were generally the only sources of information.”

The report continued: “Apart from spreading disinformation, the corporation also denied South Africans access to information and opinions. Countless events and developments went unreported, ensuring that millions of South Africans remained unaware of developments in their country.

“The impact of this was that millions of South Africans were subjected to propaganda masquerading as news. In the case of the illiterate, they were subjected to one view without being able to access other views or sources of information. The state broadcaster effectively had a stranglehold on the provision of information to the majority of South Africans.

“Management and media workers at the SABC, as a whole, went along with this broad objective. Many senior editorial managers, for example, were either military intelligence operatives or in other ways part of the apartheid state.

“There are examples of principled media workers and other SABC staff who left the corporation rather than go along with its policies, or waged their own struggle to change the nature of the SABC. The ANC pays tribute to their commitment and resolve.

“But the general rule — at least until early 1990 — seems to have been that the corporation employed media workers, producers and researchers who were broadly supportive of the apartheid state.”

The full document is available on the ANC’s website.

One wonders what an ANC critique of the SABC would look like today.