R W Johnson on South African media law

Illuminating and characteristically trenchant piece in Standpoint magazine from the very knowledgeable R W Johnson about the background to the proposed new media laws in South Africa (first posted about here). Johnson, who lives in South Africa, is precisely the kind of politically incorrect writer at whom these new laws are aimed.

Johnson, an academic-turned-journalist who is incapable of turning a sentence which doesn’t make somebody somewhere indignant, refers to rows that have been going on about his writing about South Africa in the London Review of Books. Coverage here.

In my earlier post about South Africa, I said that South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma was once of a very small number of politicians who had been idiotic enough to sue a cartoonist. I did not know at the time that this select band also includes the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It may not be a coincidence that Turkey’s political class has authoritarian instincts not unlike those of South Africa’s ANC.


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