Is South Africa heading towards authoritarian state?

Rhodes University senior lecturer, Dr Vashna Jagarnath, says there is an increasing culture of "silencing" in South Africa.

Jagarnath says people are scared to speak out because there could actions taken against them.

She explains the recent disruptions and chaos at the at the Higher Education National Convention and Ngugi wa Thiong’o lecture as examples of how certain individuals threaten and control others.

In South Africa if you have a different opinion you are cyber-bullied or bullied by people who call you out, threaten you, so eventually people begin to be silent and that is how authoritarian creeps into society.

Dr Vashna Jagarnath, Rhodes University senior lecturer

Jagarnath says in order to deal with authoritarianism creeping into the press freedom, it is important to understand that the press is not a "neutral force", but always influenced by something.

She says she believes the press should speak for the oppressed people.

People that say the press is objective are lying. It's always been on the service of something. Until we come into that realisation, we won't be able to deal with all the issues we are facing.

Dr Vashna Jagarnath, Rhodes University senior lecturer

I do not want to replace white monopoly capital with Gupta monopoly capital controlling our media, and that's what's happening.

Dr Vashna Jagarnath, Rhodes University senior lecturer

eNCA Check Point producer, Busi Gumede, also reflects on the piece she did on police infiltrating student protests.

Gumede says journalists should be free to probe whatever they want to probe without fearing threats.

Listen to the full interview with Jagarnath and Gumede below...


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