December 2011

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The Circle of Secrecy

Picture: topsecretsoftware.com Jane Duncan - In a 2005 interview with academic Sandy Africa for her PhD thesis, the-then chair of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, Siyabonga Cwele, lamented the fact that the intelligence services classified virtually all their information. This was in spite of the fact that the Intelligence Services Oversight Act only required classification of information about the identity of operatives, informants and operational methods. Cwele went on to express concern about the ways in...

Obama, the US and 5 Million Deaths in The Congo

Video The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the world's largest reserve of cobalt, in addition to gold, diamonds, copper and many other minerals. The value of the resources in Congo has been estimated at more than US$23 trillion -- equivalent to the combined GDP of the US and the UK. In the scramble for the riches of the Congo combined with the fallout of Cold War politics, a war broke out in 1996 that led to the deaths of five to six million people. This war in the DRC continues today. The...

Exploiting our National Treasures for Private Profit

Picture: findfado Charlene Houston - In at number seven, Table Mountain was announced one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature” on 11 November 2011 - but what does this really mean?  The hype South Africans experienced during the campaign is bizarre considering the value and status of this top seven list. The “Vote for Table Mountain” website explains that the competition was about “officially recognising seven of the most beautiful and prolific icons of nature from all over the world.” The...

Two Million March in Largest Public Sector Strike in British History Since 1926

Video In Britain, up to two million workers marched in the streets this week during the largest mass protest in generations. Teachers, hospital staff, garbage collectors, firefighters and border guards are participating in a 24-hour strike organized by a coalition of 30 trade unions. About a thousand demonstrations and rallies were held across the country. Public sector workers say proposed pension “reforms” will force them to pay more and work for longer before they can retire....

The Confused Objectives of The Protection of Information Bill

Video Creamer Media's Polity speaks to Media Monitoring Africa's William Bird about the Protection of State Information Bill. Bird outlines the key purposes of the Bill and how the legislations sets out to achieve these. One of the reasons there has been so much controversy around the Bill is because it has tried to deal with two kinds of information and confused their aims and objectives, argues Bird. One of the most problematic aspects of the Bill is that instead of making access to information...

Basil D'Oliviera Had a Much Larger Significance

Picture: buzzbox.com Leonard Gentle - “What do they know of cricket, who only cricket know?” the famous injunction by Trinidadian socialist writer, C.L.R James, in his book Beyond a Boundary, widely regarded as the best work of social analysis of sport ever, may well be apt in the case of media coverage here in South Africa on the death of Basil D’Oliviera. Tributes were confined to the sports pages where everyone picked up on the significance of the D’Oliviera affair, which led to the cancellation...