The Right 2 Know campaign responded to allegations by state securocrats, which were published in a report in yesterday’s Sunday Times.
The report detailed a “crackdown” on Parliament by state spies, which included allegations made against R2K by state security officials that “certain NGOs, specifically Right2Know, were known to be agents working for foreign governments”.
When the Sunday Times interviewed R2K on the matter, they specifically mentioned a connection to the US government. R2K says they find this “laughable” on the basis of the US’s mass surveillance programmes and its war on whistleblowers (see Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning), which are “in complete contradiction to [R2K’s] principles and activism”.
In its response, published yesterday on its website, R2K claims it’s an organisation made up of ordinary people across South Africa who believe in the rights of freedom of expression and access to information.
They say they are “outraged, but not surprised by the paranoia and utter disdain that the securocrats show for ordinary people and their organisations”.
R2K really drives the point home that paranoia of this sort is not new, listing similar allegations levelled against other organisations like Numsa and Amcu and the Treatment Action Campaign and by pointing out that “organisations that demand openness and accountability are only a threat to the legitimacy of the corrupt, the insecure and the authoritarian”.
Our favourite part of their release is the bit where R2K says they won’t be intimidated or deterred, and that they will continue with their campaign “openly and without fear”.
They also invite anyone who shares their principles to join them in their monthly meetings in KZN, Gauteng and the Western Cape.
[Source & Image – Right2Know]