Tags: Censorship | South | Africa | Leads | Worldwide | Disaster

Censorship in South Africa Leads to Worldwide Disaster

Wednesday, 25 April 2001 12:00 AM

The Internet is one of the most powerful and efficient means of communication.

Despite the downturn in so-called "e-content" sector businesses, the Web will become the prime way of delivering news and information to people.

This may already be true in the U.S. for text-only data. In the next 10 years it will be true for video and audio information as well.

The revolutionary power of this new medium is already being felt.

We felt it here in the U.S. with the election of George Bush. I doubt that Bush would have won against a near-incumbent like Al Gore with a brimming economy.

The Washington Post reported that in a post-election showdown with Clinton, Gore blamed Clinton for his loss, reportedly citing his numerous scandals.

Of course, it wasn't on the major networks that talk of the Clinton scandals spread like wildfire. It was on the Internet.

The revolutionary impulse of the Web is now being felt worldwide.

I strongly believe that Communist China is ratcheting up tensions with the U.S. over surveillance planes and Taiwan to stir nationalist feelings.

The Chinese leadership knows that powerful forces have been unleashed in China - propelled by the Internet - that could well break the lock-grip of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

The Internet is revolutionary and a force for good, because information and truth can spread quickly.

The Internet exposes lies and deceit, as the Communist Chinese are finding out.

Let me give you an example of the power of the Web to unmask wrongdoing by government.

The new South African government has been engaging in a not so quiet censorship program.

In fact, things are far worse for press freedom than they were during the days of apartheid.

A Web site called censorbugbear.com has become South Africa's Democracy Wall - exposing government corruption, soaring crime rates, murder campaigns against white farmers and the exploding AIDS problem.

The site is run by Dutch-born journalist Adriana Stuijt and draws from independent journalists.

Stuijt, who was a bureau for a major South African newspaper, has retired back to Holland in the wake of the new press repression, but still maintains an active interest in things South African.

An independent journalist, Stuijt actively exposed government crimes during what she calls the "dark, evil days of apartheid."

She was the lead investigator of South Africa's crime wave against blacks by so-called "white wolf murderers," young white males who were used by the apartheid government as extra-governmental assassins.

No doubt, Stuijt was part of a free press that helped make South Africa a democracy.

Apparently the government, now controlled by the ANC, is not such a big fan of democracy or a free press.

According to Stuijt and others, the worsening corruption of the South African government and the collapse of an independent press have now led to disaster for South Africans and for people in Europe and across the globe.

I am referring to the spread of the dreaded foot-and-mouth disease. FMD didn't start in South Africa, but it did spread from there.

I recall getting several e-mails from Stuijt many months ago explaining that South Africa had an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

She wrote in the e-mails that it was a local story so I might not be interested, but the story showed how the government was ignoring or hiding problems from its citizens and other governments.

At that time I had heard nothing of FMD, and don't remember even responding to her e-mails.

But when the disease made major headlines in Britain, I remembered those e-mails.

Today, a growing number of people are aware of South Africa's complicity in the spread of FMD.

In a recent edition of Britain's Spectator, Frederick Forsyth, the famous author, writes:

The key is that there are seven variants of the FMD virus and [Britain's] is a particularly rare strain in the West: the Pan Asian Strain. I understand it has never appeared before now west of the Twentieth Meridian. Last September an oriental freighter docked near Durban [South Africa] and offloaded buckets of kitchen scraps. The infected meat was used as pig swill locally, and the virus began to rage across South Africa, a major exporter of cheap meat to Britain."

Stuijt gives more details. She has written a three-part series for NewsMax.com on South Africa's role in FMD, as well as a growing anthrax problem there and the continuing nasty issue of white farmers being massacred.

What is happening in South Africa is important to America and the rest of the world.

Economically speaking, South Africa is the most important African nation.

It is integrated into the fabric of the world economy. A tear there has a ripping effect elsewhere.

FMD proves the point.

The Internet has helped catch the South African government red-handed. We can only hope that a free and vibrant press, with the help of the Internet, can bring real reform to South Africa.

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The Internet is one of the most powerful and efficient means of communication. Despite the downturn in so-called e-content sector businesses, the Web will become the prime way of delivering news and information to people. This may already be true in the U.S....
Wednesday, 25 April 2001 12:00 AM
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