South Africa

South Africa

Fragile media independence

South Africa’s 1996 constitution protects the freedom of its very diverse media but Apartheid era legislation and the 2004 terrorism laws are used to limit their coverage of institutions in which “national interest” is supposedly at stake. Coverage of certain subjects involving the ruling ANC, government finances, or state-funded improvements to President Zuma’s personal home are either off limits or provoke a hostile reaction from the authorities. The scandal around Hlaudi Motsoeneng in June of 2016 highlighted the fragility of media freedom and independence in South Africa. Motsoeneng was accused of nepotism and colluding with the government in his position as a senior executive with state-owned TV broadcaster SABC.

in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index



39 in 2016

Global score


21.92 in 2016

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2018
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