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Thread: Freedom on the decline

  1. #1
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Freedom on the decline

    Freedom House released their worldwide survey of freedom on Jan. 16,2008 and all indications are that freedom is on the decline. Their annual survey of political rights and civil liberties worldwide, reflects a reversals in one-fifth of the world's countries.

    According to Freedom House, "South Africa’s political rights rating declined from 1 to 2 due to the ruling ANC’s growing monopoly on policy making and its increasingly technocratic nature."

    South Africa Scores:
    Political Rights Score: 2
    Civil Liberties Score: 2
    Status: Free

    USA Scores:
    Political Rights Score: 1
    Civil Liberties Score: 1
    Status: Free

    Interestingly the USA rates as 1 and yet pass laws like the USA PATRIOT Act ( Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) (I wonder which policy maker was paid to come up with this acronym) This act enables law enforcement agencies to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial and other records. It allows for the indefinite detentions of immigrants; "sneak and peek" searches through which law enforcement officers search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s permission or knowledge, most of this can all be done without a court order.(Wikipedia)
    Sounds like SA pre 1994!

    Isn't the USA becoming more of a police state than a democracy - maybe a policed democracy?
    Vincent Marino
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  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Maybe we need to view the USA score as a benchmark rather than an absolute. The question in my mind is where do we really stand in comparison to a country such as the USA.

    I think this story gives a clue at what Freedom House is alluding too:
    The African National Congress (ANC) on Thursday made an about turn on its earlier concerns over comments made by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, issuing a statement confirming its confidence in the integrity of the courts.

    "Having listened to Justice Moseneke's account of his speech and the context of his remarks, the ANC accepts that no ill was intended," an ANC statement said.

    Earlier this week, the ANC had complained that comments made at Moseneke's birthday party had shown disdain for its delegates to the ANC national conference in December last year.

    Moseneke was quoted in the Sunday Times as saying: "I chose this job very carefully. I have another 10 to 12 years on the bench and I want to use my energy to help create an equal society. It's not what the ANC wants or what the delegates want; it is about what is good for our people."
    full story from M&G here
    So a meeting was called between ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, Chief Justice Pius Langa and Moseneke - For the reasons given or because he had not shown enough respect for the will of the ANC?

    Whatever - but look at who he had to answer to - government or political party, and decide how independant our judiciary really is for yourself?
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