Publication: Woza Issued: Date: 2001-01-30 Reporter: MISAnet/Pan African News Agency Editor:

Launch Edition of Online Newspaper to Focus on "Myths" Around Arms Deal - ANC

Publication  Woza
Date 2001-01-30
Reporter MISAnet/Pan African News Agency
Web Link

Cape Town (Pana) - The ANC, which has put plans to launch a daily newspaper in South Africa on hold, has turned to online publishing so as to propagate its views, saying it lacks a voice in the country's mass media.

Called ANC Today, the edition is being trumpeted as the "online voice of the ANC", and will appear every Friday on the party's website.

The first edition focuses on the ANC's latest Achilles Heel, the five billion US dollar arms deal.

A letter from ANC President Thabo Mbeki says: "It is of critical importance that the ANC develops its own vehicles to communicate news, information and views to as many people as possible, at home and abroad.

"It is very encouraging indeed to see an organisation as old as the ANC respond to modern challenges and possibilities with the speed and flexibility it has demonstrated by the use of the internet."

Mbeki said that the ANC's constituency had limited access to the mass media throughout the 90 years of its existence.

"During this period, a commercial newspaper and magazine press representing the views, values and interests of the white minority have dominated the field of the mass media.

"This situation has hardly changed in the period since we obtained our liberation in 1994," Mbeki said.

Mbeki said the country was faced with the "virtually unique situation that among the democracies, the overwhelmingly dominant tendency in South African politics, represented by the ANC, has no representation whatsoever in the mass media".

"We therefore have to contend with the situation that what masquerades as public opinion, as reflected in the bulk of our media, is in fact minority opinion, informed by the historic, social and political position occupied by this minority."

Mbeki said ANC Today would be a combatant for the truth, for the liberation of the minds of our people, for the eradication of the colonial and apartheid legacy, for democracy, non-racism, non-sexism, prosperity and progress.

The first edition of ANC Today focuses on the controversy surrounding the arms procurement package and the many myths that have been generated and perpetuated around it.

The website would provide up-to-the-minute information on the ANC's programmes, policies and perspectives on current national and international issues.

ANC Today is available on the ANC web site at

With acknowledgement to MISAnet/Pan African News Agency and WOZA.