The department cited the Protection of Personal Information Act, which came into effect on July 1 last year, as the reason behind the decision.
OVER the past week, South Africans on social media and other platforms witnessed an orchestrated and well-planned systematic attack on Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
South Africans saw how a pack of journalists who have aligned themselves to our embattled President Cyril Ramaphosa as well as influencers and a number of other dubious voices in our country embarked on a personal attack on her for sharing her political and ideological disposition on the state of South Africa.
What is interesting is that those who are involved in the attack on Sisulu have never had the guts to stand for any truth or let alone for anything for that matter.
Just like a pack of attack dogs they rely on the establishment to provide a directive on who to gun for. But this time they got it wrong.
Attacking a black woman for having an opinion proves every single point that Sisulu was trying to make in her thought leadership piece first published by the Daily News.
It also goes to show that our media industry, in 2022 is still subjected to a colonial, basskap and apartheid mentality that is still prevalent at the core of its intellectual make-up.
Throughout our history in South Africa, black women have always been denied a voice, but then again those members of the cabal who have attacked her would let this fly over their heads as their intellectual capacity stretches only as far as News24 and others whom I will not bother even giving airtime in this article. They know who they are.
They buy their own press as if consuming their own waste.
There is really nothing to write home about as far as their contribution to the nation’s political discourse is concerned.
With that being said, it is really disappointing to see how we have reduced many female freedom fighters like Sisulu to belittling names like “Barbie Doll” or referring to their husbands and families as if they have never stood in the front lines in the battle against the apartheid regime.
For many who might not know, apart from being born into a very influential ANC family, Sisulu was amongst those who sacrificed much of their youth to fight for the very same freedom many of us enjoy today.
Although the freedom that came in 1994 might not have translated into a clear economic programme that deliberately sought to uplift black people, it is never too late to stand for and do the right thing.
In this case, Sisulu must be applauded and celebrated for putting the progress of black South Africans at the centre of her philosophical disposition, especially since she occupies a position of major influence and is arguably one of the most powerful women on the African continent.
When many amongst the black community worked with the apartheid regime selling out their own people, and when others were confessing to the apartheid police that their comrades “were planting communist ideas into their heads”, people like Sisulu were crossing the Zambezi River ready to take up arms for this country.
A person who was arrested for months by the brutal administration at the time, kept in solitary confinement, tortured to the point where police officers would use electric gadgets during interrogation, today is reduced to someone who merely wears “pink gloves”.
Her only crime is being female and challenging those who think they have monopoly over opinions and ideas.
A person who received military training, specialised in intelligence, was at the forefront together with former president Jacob Zuma to successfully deal with numerous coup d’etat attempts on the continent as well as becoming the very first female minister of intelligence in the world, is today insulted by imbeciles like Minister Mondli Gungubele who has very dodgy credentials.
Instead, Gungubele must not even be entertained as his own actions have revealed him to be a highly intellectually challenged individual. How he made it as a minister in the president’s office is a question for the ages.
The only thing we know about him is that he served in the National Union of Mineworkers, an entity formed by the money and financial backing of White Monopoly Capital. He is also infamous for allegedly committing perjury at a commission of inquiry.
It is heartbreaking to see how our country has drifted far away from the truth and that critical engagement seems to have left our discourse.
Instead of challenging Sisulu and her views intellectually, the cabal has resulted in mere insults. A clear indication that they themselves cannot stand toe to toe with her.
It is also sickening to see how we have reduced female freedom fighters to mere objects instead of recognising the crucial role that they played during the struggle. It is similar to how Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was referred to as “Zuma’s Wife” by the media and the likes of Redi Tlhabi and her ilk during her presidential campaign.
Forgetting her role against the brutal apartheid system and the contributions that she has made in South Africa and the rest of Africa in her career.
Sisulu now finds herself in a similar predicament. A predicament that Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela also faced at the hands of her own male comrades who mistreated her and deliberately smeared her image with the help of the media cabal.
There is nothing wrong when Sisulu asks whether our laws work for the black majority. There is also nothing wrong when she questions certain things in our country that she feels are not going well.
We need that, we need that agitation at times to spark a debate.
But what we cannot and will not accept, is the patriarchal attacks aimed at smearing her image just because she’s seen to be a key contender and nightmare for Ramaphosa’s bid for a second term, a person who is rumoured to have been recruited into the ANC by Sisulu herself.
Modibe Modiba is the co-founder of the Insight Factor. He writes in his personal capacity.