Freedom of Speech in South Africa
Thank goodness our new constitution makes provision for Freedom of Speech! There are a couple of concerns as far as our constitution is concerned.
As in most other countries the majority party (ruling party) can bulldoze certain amendments through parlaiment. With the ANC and their "brothers" out there, anything is possible. A good example is what's been happening in Zimbabwe with the "land-grabbing" and of course, Mugabe (not only using it as an election tool) being the big voice behind the pre-election violence. Our Mbeki did not say much purely because there are similar issues in this country.
During the ANC election campaign many years ago (seems like it), property and houses were promised to all people of South Africa. Much to their dissapointment the RDP (Reconstruction and Developement Program) got a bit side-tracked with the amount of passengers on the new SA gravy-train. Contractors made a bundle building inferior houses which soon afterwards started collapsing. Regions that indigenous blacks inhabited years and years ago (as far back as three-hundred years) were taken from the existing owners (payed for by the tax-payer at a government estimated market price) and given back to them as being the original owners of the land.
Again this issue is being pushed by the poor blacks. We're expecting some sort of legislure to be passed soon giving government more power to "give-away" more current productive land.
I'm straying a bit, but that is a typical example of how the ANC can manipulate the constitution to suit themselves.
We have freedom of speech - so much so that government officials (read corrupt) can threaten reporters with death if certain "gravy-train" details were published. Transparency they say, but don't try and expose any sort of corruption.
Reporters especially are under constant attack from high-placed officials in government. The moment these people (the so-called offended ones) get a whiff of discrimination they blame it on the "old regime" and apartheid. You have a public remark on a black person, if a pupil at school, another SA citizen or whatever the case might be, and you're white and the other black - it is racial discrimination. And for that they can take you to court with a ninety percent chance of you coming out the wrong side.
Most white people here have accepted (to a big degree) that the situation cannot be changed and that we must make the best of it - seems though that the black population cannot come to terms with the injustice that was meeted out against them in the past and are out for revenge - anywhich way!
So, when in South Africa, watch your tongue when you talk to or about a black person. You might end-up with an unneeded bullet in your back.