Freedom of speech under threat in South Africa

Cape Town, legislative capital of South Africa

We have received a message from CRNI Executive Director Dr. Robert Russell alerting us to a growing crisis in South Africa that will directly impact all of the nation’s cartoonists.

“What is going on under the Jacob Zuma government in South Africa is especially dangerous because leaders of other failing governments in southern Africa will be carefully watching to see if they might foist this kind of attack on free speech on their own people,” says Dr. Russell.

The problems stem from the proposed Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, widely criticised as far too broad and heavy-handed, exacerbated by concerns that the South African government should be considering such laws at all.

You can read more about this worrying development in this article on the ‘media update’ website.

Terry Anderson, CRNI board member & PCO member, compares the South African situation with what’s happening in Turkey via this CRNI article and, conversely, in Australia, where the right continue to campaign for repeal of clause 18c of The Racial Discrimination Act and the cartoons of Bill Leak are a test case for freedom of speech.


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