Remember 'Black Wednesday': Motlanthe
"Black Wednesday" is commemorated to remind people of the moral and historical necessity to protect the country's democracy, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday.
"Government is encouraged by the steps taken by the print media to strengthen the regulation of journalistic practices," Motlanthe said in a statement.
"This is a step in the right direction, which will add impetus to the process of enhancing understanding between the general public and the media, and between government and media."
This understanding was important if the country wanted to maintain a robust and participatory democracy, he said. Motlanthe said the Constitution guaranteed freedom of expression, including freedom of the press.
Media Freedom Day commemorates October 19, 1977, also known as "Black Wednesday", when, under the apartheid government, three newspapers were banned and activists and journalists jailed.
Motlanthe said the media had to help the country understand its problems.
"[The] media have a vital role to play in helping the nation understand these challenges, point to potential solutions and maintain the perspective of the considerable achievements recorded since the dawn of democracy."