South Africa

South Africa

Fragile media independence

South Africa’s 1996 constitution protects the freedom of its very diverse media. However, apartheid-era legislation and the 2004 terrorism laws are used to limit coverage of government institutions when “national interest” is supposedly at stake. Journalists are harassed and subjected to intimidation campaigns if they try to cover certain subjects involving the ruling ANC, government finances, the redistribution of land to the black population or the #Guptaleaks affair, all which are either off limits or provoke a hostile reaction from the authorities. In June 2017, the dismissal of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, an associate of former President Jacob Zuma, from his position as a senior executive with state-owned TV broadcaster SABC highlighted the fragility of media freedom and independence in South Africa.

in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index



31 in 2017

Global score


20.12 in 2017

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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