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The FW de Klerk Foundation writes regular articles on topical issues, supports language and cultural rights and participates in the national debate on racial and cultural issues. The Foundation also promotes communication by holding conferences and workshops.

Coronavirus

Globally and in South Africa the pandemic crisis of 2020 continues to test the solidity of the foundations of many aspects of 21st Century society. This is particularly evident in the economy, communications and culture, but it also raises many legal questions, especially concerning the extent of the powers of the state and the government in exceptional circumstances.

The South African government received praise, for instance from the World Health Organization, for the manner in which it had responded to the crisis, and it would be churlish to deny that South Africans generally have much to be grateful for, given the relatively positive results that may be ascribed to some of the drastic measures taken by the government to curb the spread of the virus.

Coronavirus

Prosecutors play a crucial role in the administration of justice in any country. They contribute to ensuring transparent accountability, fair legal as well as equitable criminal justice processes and the effective protection of citizens against crime. It is imperative that they vigorously protect the public interest and act with objectivity and integrity.

In a country like South Africa, where there is rampant corruption, severe political abuse of power and blatant state capture, the need for a vibrant and independent prosecuting authority is even greater.

200131 FWDK

It is once again a great pleasure for me to address the Cape Town Press Club.

I shall spend a little more time today on the past than on the future ‐ because, at the age of 84, I have much more past than future ‐ and also because the past has become an increasingly contentious issue, not only for the present ‐ but also for the future.

Heritage Day

This Heritage Day we are slowly emerging from the most immediate aftermath of Covid-19 and its devastating effect on our country, economy and people.

On this day -and in a country belonging to all its’ people - South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture, the diversity of their beliefs and traditions.

One of the most important aspects recognised in the Constitution of South Africa, is the importance of our collective heritage and the rich cultural, linguistic and historical landscape painting the canvas of our people’s diversity. The South African Constitution unambiguously speaks to this in its’ preamble: South Africa belongs to all who live in it - united in our diversity - in the wider context of a nation and country recognising the injustices of our past; honouring those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land as well as respecting those who have worked to build and develop our country.

Heritage Day

In his dystopian novel “1984” George Orwell introduced us to the concept of “doublethink” - which he described as -

“…the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary.”

We saw examples of doublethink in President Ramaphosa’s statement on Heritage Day last week.

Heritage Day

The long-simmering crisis of farm murders has come to a head following the murder on 1 October of a 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner at a farm outside Paul Roux in the Free State.

Horner’s body was found tied to a pole and the 21-year-old had injuries to the face and neck.

Only two days later police arrested two suspects, Sekola Piet Matlaletsa and Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba, in a township near Paul Roux. Blood-stained clothes and shoes were found in their possession.

Heritage Day

Every now and then a boil appears on the 26-year-old face of the New South Africa. One such boil erupted on 6 October in Senekal - and another earlier this week at Brackenfell High School in the Cape. These ugly eruptions may reflect more than just a passing hormonal imbalance: they could indicate a deeper underlying toxicity that might threaten the whole body politic.

Lee Teng hui

PROPOSED ONLINE CENSORSHIP OF SOUTH AFRICA: DRAFT FILMS AND PUBLICATIONS AMENDMENT REGULATIONS

The South African Film and Publication Board (SAFPB) recently published the Draft Films and Publications Amendment Regulations for public comment. The Regulations - which would be promulgated under the Films and Publications Amendment Act 11 of 2019 (the FPAA) - will be administered by the Board - and apply to the sale, hiring and streaming of content on the internet and various other digital platforms in South Africa.

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