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SA investigative greats: Secrecy Bill will not silence us

"If you think we're going to curl up and die, think again." That's the strong message this country's top investigative journalists sent ANC MPs who voted in favour of the Protection of Information Bill in Parliament. The local muckrakers said the bill was designed to intimidate whistleblowers and insider sources so as to make investigative journalism even tougher, if not more dangerous.
One day towards the end of October 2011, Bheki Cele got out of bed and went about his business as he had done every day since he was made National Police Commissioner. Cele praised police in Mpumalanga for crime reduction efforts, addressed kids at a crèche and spent time reaching out to citizens. The police chief's spin tour came to an abrupt end later that afternoon when President Jacob Zuma announced his suspension, and Cele walked into the history books.

He was yet another ANC stalwart who had been suspended, earmarked for investigation, or rendered obsolete after being exposed by those muckrakers, the fearless investigative journalists that expose the rot of growing greed and corruption inside South Africa's government.

It was the Sunday Times' team of Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilikazi Wa Afrika who helped take Cele down, and as ruling party MPs used their majority to shove the Protection of State Information Bill through Parliament, it is likely the spectres of Cele, Sicelo Shiceka and Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde loomed large. The vote sent a clear and disturbing message to whistleblowers who aided the exit of corrupt ruling party members.

Continue reading the full article on to find out what Hofstatter; City Press assistant editor Adrian Basson; Stefaans Brümmer of amaBhungane, the Mail & Guardian's Centre for Investigative Journalism; Media24 Investigations team editor Andrew Trench; Media24 Investigations team member Julian Rademeyer; Eyewitness News journalist Barry Bateman; and Eyewitness News editor Katy Katepodis have to say about the consequences of Black Tuesday.


Daily Maverick
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About Mandy de Waal: @mandyldewaal

Editor, writer and researcher. *Editor of #TheFutureByDesign & The Africa Annual *Published in Africa's Greatest Entrepreneurs *Published in Rolling Stone Magazine, The Guardian (UK), Daily Maverick, Finweek, Mail & Guardian, City Press, Rapport, Moneyweb, Noseweek; Brainstorm Magazine; ITWeb, and MarkLives. *Before becoming a full time writer, de Waal founded brand agency Idea Engineers, and led the Cape Town office of Text 100.



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