'Lack of access to information allows StratCom agents to rule from the grave'

Journalist Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki will be approaching the High court in an attempt to get apartheid documents declassified to clear her name.

Gqubule-Mbeki is one of the journalists accused of writing false reports about the struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela under an operative called StratCom (Strategic Communications) during the apartheid era.

Madikizela-Mandela named the alleged group of journalists in a video clip published on HuffPost SA.

The video has now been removed.

Gugulethu Mhlungu spoke to Hennie Van Vuuren, Research Associate of Open Secrets at Institute for Justice and Reconciliation on the need for declassifying Apartheid-era documents.

There is a wealth of material that remains in the apartheid archives and when we were undertaking research as Open Secrets for the book Apartheid, Guns and Money, we were surprised by the extent of information that remains in the archive and that was not destroyed at the end of apartheid.

Hennie Van Vuuren, Research Associate of Open Secrets at Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

Citizens don't have automatic access to it. We have a record keeping system in our country which does not give us automatic access and so we have to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act, the freedom of information act to access those records.

Hennie Van Vuuren, Research Associate of Open Secrets at Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

In some instances, like the Reserve Bank and others, still continue until today, to we believe, undermine the constitution to not giving us access to out right to information.

Hennie Van Vuuren, Research Associate of Open Secrets at Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

He says the process is not for the faint-hearted.

That process in itself is not a question of just going straight to the courts. What is crucial is the records she wants are from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and those are held by the Department of Justice. It took us almost two to three years to get access to basic information that the department had from the TRC on murdered activists which should be in the public domain.

Hennie Van Vuuren, Research Associate of Open Secrets at Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

This is precisely this lack of access to information allows the StratCom agents to rule from the grave. These people who have helped to fuel this fire on twitter and elsewhere I think would be proud of the kind of mess that they have created with accusations. This is precisely what they wanted to do, muddy the waters, ensure that we no longer believe in the media as a source of information.

Hennie Van Vuuren, Research Associate of Open Secrets at Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview...


This article first appeared on 702 : 'Lack of access to information allows StratCom agents to rule from the grave'


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Made in Jozi: Johannesburg's first winery takes off

Made in Jozi: Johannesburg's first winery takes off

Kath Gerakaris of the Gerakaris Family Winery chats to Gugs Mhlungu about creating Joburg's own wine from pressing to bottling.

How Ramaphosa plans to raise 100 billion dollars in new investment

How Ramaphosa plans to raise 100 billion dollars in new investment

Gugulethu Mhlungu spoke to Bloomberg journalist Sam Mkokeli who is in the UK, on President Cyril Ramaphosa's 'ambitious' target.

Long live the spirit of Ontlametse Phalatse, a film to inspire

Long live the spirit of Ontlametse Phalatse, a film to inspire

A documentary about inspirational Ontlametse Phalatse, one of only two South African girls who lived with progeria.

 We exposed StratCom in the 80s - Max Du Preez

We exposed StratCom in the 80s - Max Du Preez

Du Preez has dismissed claims that he is one of the journalists who carried out a smear campaign against Madikizela- Mandela.

Sanef condemns fingering journalists in StratCom dirty tricks without evidence

Sanef condemns fingering journalists in StratCom dirty tricks without evidence

Sanef Treasurer, Adriaan Basson says it is dangerous to name journalists until such time as substantial proof is provided.

[LISTEN] 'We pushed propaganda against Winnie and set her up'

[LISTEN] 'We pushed propaganda against Winnie and set her up'

Former StratCom security branch officer Paul Erasmus opens up about the documentary 'Winnie' and his part in the smear campaign.

Popular articles
Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

The new Home Affairs upgrades to the system include printing parents details at the back of the child's passport.

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

The UK’s Food Standards Agency issued an advisory, claiming that Rolkem failed to confirm that their ingredients were safe to eat.

KFC South Africa’s Neymar mocking ad… so epic, Nando’s would be proud!

KFC South Africa’s Neymar mocking ad… so epic, Nando’s would be proud!

The South African ad is still trending around the world. Bruce Whitfield interviews branding and advertising expert Andy Rice.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

The Panorama, Welgelegen and Plattekloof Neighbourhood Watch has identified a new house break-in trend.