It is precisely because of the undemocratic nature of South African society that successive governments have sought to curb dissent by supressing the articulation of opposing ideologies.
Strict compliance with the provisions of the Police Act, Prisons Act and Defence Act would render publication on the activities of these institutions almost impossible. . . .
Other statutes prevent the publication of various matters. . . . An examination of all the statutes which restrict the freedom of speech will reveal a society obsessed with secrecy. . . .
To the extent that these statutes prevent the disclosure of certain information, they affect all South Africans alike regardless of race. This, however, is an over-simplification. It is essential to consider the restrictions on the rights of freedom of expression in relation to the political disabilities of the majority of the population. The inability of blacks . . . to particpate in the political process on an equal footing with whites has forced blacks to seek other channels for the articulation of their grievances. In its most extreme form, the armed wing of the African National Congress . . . has been waging a low-intensity war for the past 23 years. It is therefore somewhat artificial to speak of peaceful change in South Africa when a process of violence has already begun. If, however, there is to be relatively peaceful change in South Africa, the ability of the majority of the population to articulate their grievances in a meaningful manner is crucial.