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Released on: July 4, 2022

Minister Motsoaledi’s attack on HNF was ‘profoundly anti-democratic’

The Campaign for Free Expression (CFE) is deeply concerned about Home Affairs Minister Aaron
Motsoaledi’s attack last week on the Helen Suzman Foundation and its funders. “This was a
profoundly anti-democratic line of attack and seems to suggest that the government is going to deal
with its problems by blaming NGOs, the media and other elements of civil society,” CFE’s Anton
Harber said.
HNF last week initiated court action against Motsoaledi’s treatment of Zimbabweans living in South
Africa. Motsoaledi responded by saying this actions was “a perfect example of the destructive role
some NGOs could play”.
“South Africa is now under the dictatorship of some of the NGOs with some have faceless and
dubious funders. Their ultimate aim is to assist in the dislodgement of the government of the day
from power by all means available.”
He said the HNF had the right to go to court, but should not “abuse the Bill of Rights”.
Harber said: “The Minister can disagree with HNF, but there is no call for an attack on the work of
human rights defenders. Bodies such as the HNF play a crucial role in holding the government to its
constitutional commitments.
“It is a great irony that they body named after a human rights pioneer who was often accused by the
apartheid government of being unpatriotic, should face similar accusations from an ANC leader,”
Harber said.
• The Campaign for Free Expression (CFE) is a non-partisan, non-profit
organisation dedicated to protecting and expanding the right to free expression
for all and enabling everyone to exercise this right to the full.

Media statement

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