32 hos­tile me­dia laws

Observer on Saturday - - News -

Hlatshwayo on the defama­tion laws and other re­stric­tions on jour­nal­ists quoted a 2002 au­dit of re­stric­tive me­dia laws in Swazi­land compiled by le­gal con­sul­tant Lindiwe Khu­malo-Matse that found that the coun­try has 32 laws re­strict­ing the me­dia.

Chief among them are the Pro­scribed Pub­li­ca­tions Act of 1968, Of­fi­cial Se­crets Act 1968 and Se­dic­tion and Sub­ver­sive Ac­tiv­i­ties Act of 1968.

The first cen­sors the con­tent of me­dia pub­li­ca­tions; the sec­ond pre­vents dis­clo­sure of state in­for­ma­tion while the third crim­i­nalises ut­ter­ing state­ments that bring the King and heirs or suc­ces­sors into dis­re­pute.

The con­sul­tant fur­ther stated that the ma­jor­ity of these are out­dated and are so broad in lan­guage that they can be used any­where and in any sit­u­a­tion to im­pose re­stric­tions on the me­dia.

TAK­ING NOTES: Michael Motsa and Am­brose Zwane dur­ing the launch of the study.

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