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Friday, 28 March 2008


My comments that media in Swaziland are restricted by repressive laws got a swift response yesterday. I said that media commentators reckoned there were more than 30 such laws, but I doubted if there were really that many.

No sooner had I posted my blog with a request to see the list if it really existed than a reply came pinging back from the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) – Swaziland Chapter. It turns out that MISA is the group that counted up all the restrictive laws. It did it for a book it published in 2003 called naturally enough ‘Restrictive Media Laws in Swaziland’.

There are in fact 33 on the list, but some look a bit strange to me. How, for example, does the Dairy Act 1968 or the Citrus Act 1967 restrict the media?

MISA has promised to send me a copy of the book so I can find out for myself.

Meanwhile, here is the full list:

1. 1973 King’s Proclamation
2. Proclamation No.1 of 1981
3. Public Order Act 1963
4. Proscribed Publications Act 1968
5. Official Secrets Act
6. Sedition and Subversive Act 1968
7. Protected Places and Areas Act 1966
8. Obscene Publications Act 1927
9. Cinematography Act 1968
10. Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Act
11. Books and Newspapers Act 1963
12. Swaziland Television Authority Act 1983
13. Parliamentary Privileges Act
14. Internal Security Bill
15. Public Accounts Committee Order 1974
16. Patents, Design and Trade Marks Act
17. Magistrates Court Act 1938
18. High Court Act 1954
19. Judicial Services Commission Act
20. Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act 1939
21. Electoral Act
22. Standing Orders of Senate Relating to Public Business
23. Emergency Powers Act 1968
24. Prevention of Corruption Order 1993
25. Control of Supplies Order 1973 (later referred to as an Act??)
26. Statistics Act 1967
27. Regulation of Advertisements Act 1953
28. Aviation Act 1968
29. Cotton Act 1967
30. Dairy Act 1968
31. Citrus Act 1967
32. Identification Order 1998
33. Public Health Act 1969

See also

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