JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The South African government said Thursday that it is assuming powers to censor or close newspapers and magazines that it believes are promoting revolution.
Stoffel Botha, the minister of home affairs, told Parliament in Cape Town that new government restrictions will be imposed today under the 14-month-old state of emergency to give him greater authority to curb, censor and even silence what he called "revolution-supportive media."
South Africa's present censorship regulations, despite their already sweeping nature, are insufficient, Botha said, to halt "the present flood of revolutionary propaganda."
The liberal opposition Progressive Federal Party attacked the regulations as a further diminution of political freedom.
"The lights of press freedom are steadily going out in our country," David Dalling, a Progressive Federal member of Parliament, said. "We should remember that once these lights are extinguished, it sometimes takes years, even decades, to rekindle them."